The ATA’s advanced seasonally-adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for May, at 114 (2015=100) fell 6.1% compared to April’s 121.8, which was up 7% over March. And compared to May 2018, SA tonnage eked out a 0.9% gain, which ATA said marks its smallest annual SA tonnage gain going back to April 2017.
May shipments, at 1.128, slipped 6% annually and were down 2.8% compared to April. This marks the sixth consecutive month that annual shipments were down. Freight expenditures in May, at 2.845, were down 1.08% annually and down 2.2% compared to April.
Commerce reported that May retail sales, at $519.0 billion, were up 0.5% compared to April and up 3.2% annually. NRF reported that May retail sales were up 0.5% in May on a seasonally-adjusted basis compared to April, and up 3.2% annually on an unadjusted basis.
Truckload rates, which measure linehaul rates, headed up 1.2% annually to 135.3 (January 2005=100), extending a stretch of gains going back to November 2017. On the intermodal side, total May intermodal pricing was up 4.2% annually, to 147.0, and down 1.9% compared to April.