The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2.5% in February-- marking its first monthly decline since August 2005.

The tonnage index had increased five consecutive months totaling 3.3% before the February contraction. In February tonnage was 0.2% lower than the same month in 2005. Tonnage dropped 4.5% in February compared with January when seasonal factors aren’t considered.

This marks the largest month-to-month decline in a year, noted ATA chief economist Bob Costello.

“The string of consecutive monthly increases was bound to come to an end at some point,” said Costello. “Motor carriers have been telling us that volumes have been fair recently and our index clearly reflects that sentiment. We continue to believe that motor carriers should expect modest growth in volumes going forward and that the latest decrease should not alarm the industry.”

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