Truck tonnage decreased a seasonally adjusted 2.2% in February, according to the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). However, the decline followed a revised 5% leap in January, the largest month-to-month increase in several years. Compared with February 2004, tonnage was up 3.9%.

“February’s decrease, while quite large in historical terms, needs to be tempered with January’s extremely strong gain,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “And, while one month does not make a trend, we are expecting the rate of growth in truck tonnage to decelerate compared to 2004. Nevertheless, we still expect tonnage to grow solidly in 2005. February may be the beginning of this deceleration trend.”