Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trucking Tonnage Falls in June But Remains 7.6% Above June Last Year

ARLINGTON, VA -- "The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.4 percent in June, although May’s reduction was revised from 0.6 percent to just 0.1 percent. May and June marked the first back-to-back contractions since March and April 2009. The latest reduction lowered the SA index from 110.1 (2000=100) in May to 108.5 in June (see chart above)."

On a 12-month basis, trucking activity looks a little better: 
"Compared with June 2009, SA tonnage climbed 7.6 percent, which was just below May’s 7.7 percent increase and the seventh consecutive year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, tonnage is up 6.6 percent compared with the same period in 2009."

MP: There have been some signs of a slowdown in the strength of the economic expansion in May and June (including the Richmond and Chicago Fed releases today on manufacturing activity in those regions), and the trucking tonnage index decrease in June probably helps to confirm that.  But we should also keep in mind that manufacturing has been leading the economic recovery, and some uneven "starts and stops" in the economic recovery are to be expected.   


At 7/27/2010 5:27 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Signs of a slowdown? Oh, boy.

We are dying on the vine. Real estate is in a depression, not a recession.
Time for the Fed to get aggressive. Quantitative easing.

Yes, blah, blah liquidation, blah, blah--the problem is, our banks have commercial loans outstanding. One in nine is sour. Unless we reflate commercial property values, banks will be sick for years. Japan never reflated commercial property values. See Japan. The US n a deflation is like Japan sans their civility and strong culture.

Translation: You will get mugged by monkeys at the 7-11.

Even if the Fed should overshoot, I would rather live through a long inflationary boom (which may be necessary anyway to effectively liquidate debts we can never otherwise pay off) than along deflationary recession. If you live through a long deflationary recession, then the next stage is a very long depression.

Just so we can say we kept money tight?

At 7/27/2010 10:30 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Cartel violence spikes in Nuevo Laredo

Posted By Truckers News Staff On July 23, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

Drivers and carriers operating in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, should be on alert after days of cartel gun battles there, logistics security firm FreightWatch International said Friday, July 23.

Those with operations in Nuevo Laredo should consider adjusting or suspending them until security improves, said FreightWatch spokesman Dan Burges. Some of the street battles included use of grenades, according to news reports. Many businesses remained closed Friday, with estimates as high as 90 percent of business closed, Burges said.

The U.S. State Department has warned U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Nuevo Laredo, or remain indoors until law enforcement deems the town to be safe.

In February, border crossings near Nuevo Laredo were closed briefly due to cartel violence.

At 7/28/2010 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benjamin, are you a real estate agent?

At 7/28/2010 9:52 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

durables orders and shipments were down again in june (after declining in may as well) .

At 7/28/2010 9:55 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


by what definition of "tight" can you possibly call the current situation of zero interest rates and quantitative easing plied on top and freddy and fannie buying 90% of mortgages under government conservatorship to keep 30 year rates low tight money?

i don't mean this as a sarcastic question, i'm actually quite serious - by what metric can you call this "tight"?

At 7/28/2010 10:24 AM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


There is a phd economist from Univ of Chicago who runs a great blog, The Money Illusion. He is also a prof at Bentley and a commentator for Cato. The guy has the creds.

I heartily recommend reading his column for insights on monetary policy, and a refreshing relief from the nostrums and shibboleths and simple set stories of both political wings.

At 7/28/2010 11:38 AM, Blogger Free2Choose said...

"There is a phd economist from Univ of Chicago who runs a great blog, "

Morg - Translation
"I really don't know but some other guy said it so I'm repeating it here"

At 7/28/2010 12:31 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


i've just read about 30 of his posts and nowhere can i find any reference to "tight money", at best, he argues for a reduction in interest payments to stop sterilizing QE.

his one of these pro inflation lunatics who thinks that if we just abandon inflation targets and jam money, all will be well oblivious to the moral hazard and long term destruction of savings caused by such a course.

his opinions are just the sort of nonsense that give academic economists a bad name and still do not support your view about tight money.

i think you have misunderstood him.

At 7/28/2010 12:35 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

this is the one argument he makes about contractionary policy:

"I guess that makes me “no one.” In the 1930s everyone seemed to think Fed policy was expansionary. They cut rates close to zero, they dramatically increased the monetary base, they encouraged banks to hold on to more reserves. Hoover set up a fund to help the banking system. I’m not disputing that the Fed has done more this time. But Bernanke himself admitted that we now know Fed policy was actually contractionary during the 1930s. By what benchmark can the economics profession say it was contractionary then, but is highly expansionary now? I’ve asked the question 100 times of my fellow economists and still haven’t received an answer.

The broader aggregates? OK, I admit they fell in the 1930s. But I thought the monetary aggregates were discredited as policy indicators in the 1980s? Now you have economists who had dismissed monetarism as a washed up doctrine suddenly clinging to the aggregates as the one piece of evidence that money was easier this time than in the 1930s. This crisis makes economists look like a bunch of atheists who suddenly accept the Lord on their deathbed. Well it’s too late for that, even M3 is falling now."

it misses a key issue: there is no monetary policy that is going to drive money demand right now. demand for money is low. monetary aggregates are not responding to a steep yield curve.

interest rates and QE cannot alter that. we are in a period of debt reduction and low investment due to overcapacity.

there is no monetary answer to that.

At 7/28/2010 1:41 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


If you are still reading,

see http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?page_id=3447

At 7/28/2010 1:49 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


I think I understand monetarism, and I like Milton Friedman, as I assume you do, from your name.

Perhaps you should read the Money Illusion blog for a while.

BTW, Miltojn Firedman

1. Hated the gold standard
2. Believed in progressive consumption taxes to finance military mobilizations
3. Hated the home mortgage interest tax deduction
4. Thought we should tax pollution

Most "conservatives" lose their stomach for MF after I list these MF standards. They change the topic.

At 7/28/2010 6:27 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Most "conservatives" lose their stomach for MF after I list these MF standards. They change the topic."

Unlike Benji, who endorses protectionism, Obamacare, the minimum wage, and monetary alchemy, among other deviations from Friedman's teachings.

At 7/29/2010 10:00 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Unlike Benji, who endorses protectionism, Obamacare, the minimum wage, and monetary alchemy, among other deviations from Friedman's teachings"...

Well you see Paul the pseudo benny isn't talking about the real Milton Friedman but some as yet unknown Keynesian construct going by the name of 'Miltojn Firedman'...

At 7/29/2010 2:26 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"...but some as yet unknown Keynesian construct going by the name of 'Miltojn Firedman'..."

I believe this is a pseudonym occasionally used by P. Krugman.


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