ATA truck tonnage index rises 1.7 percent in March
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The American Trucking Association announced Tuesday that its advance seasonally adjusted (SA) for-hire truck index rose 1.7 percent in March-the index slumped 2.7 percent in February.
Compared with March 2010, SA tonnage index climbed 6.3 percent, which was higher than February's 4.4 percent year-over-year gain, but below the 7.6 percent jump in January. For Q1 2011, tonnage increased 3.8 percent from the previous quarter and 6.1 percent from Q1 2010.
"Despite my concern that higher energy costs are going to begin cutting into consumer spending, tonnage levels were pretty good in March and the first quarter of the year," said ATA Chief Economist and Vice President Bob Costello. Looking ahead, Costello said, "While I still think the industry will continue to grow and recover from the weak freight environment we've seen in recent years, the rapid spike in fuel prices will slow that growth."