For-hire truck tonnage dropped 3% in December, slowed down by a decline in automaker production, according to a survey conducted by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). This marked the largest monthly decline in 2005. Yet compared to the same month in 2004, the index was 0.6% higher.

“The magnitude of December’s reduction came as a surprise,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “However, I continue to believe that tonnage will grow in 2006 and that the latest reading should not cause people in the industry to panic. The tonnage index gained 2% in 2005, which is good considering capacity growth was limited all year.”

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