Truck tonnage rose 3.6% last month over July of last year, helped by the improving pace of factory orders and new home construction, American Trucking Associations reported.
The trade group said its advanced seasonally adjusted index reached 130.2, an increase of 1.3% over June, and moved closer to the all-time record of 131.0 set in November. The improvement in July followed a 0.8% decline in June, compared with May.
“The solid tonnage number in July fits with the strong factory output reading and a jump in housing starts for the same month,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “I continue to expect moderate, but good, tonnage growth for the rest of the year.”
Factory output in July was the strongest in 2½ years, rising 1.1%, the Federal Reserve reported Aug.15, and a 16% rise in housing starts was announced Aug. 19 by the Commerce Department.
“After a surprising decrease in June, tonnage really snapped back in July,” he said. “This gain fits more with the anecdotal reports we are hearing from motor carriers that freight volumes are good.”
The year-to-date tonnage increase over the first seven months of the year is 2.9%. The pace of July’s increase was the fastest in three months.