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Here is the American Trucking Association press release the article is based on. Of interest is the chart that accompanies the release, so take a quick look. Technically, it makes the situation seem somewhat more dire than the article alone. There is no way to spin this in a positive way.

Eric (who sees a clear longterm down channel in place)

http://www.truckline.com/NR/exeres/240082F3-7160-4162-92A5-C834A84E2401.htm

<<<FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006   
  
Ata Truck Tonnage Index Plummeted 3.6 Percent In November

ALEXANDRIA, Va.— The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index plunged 3.6 percent in November after falling 1.9 percent in October.
 
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the tonnage index fell to 106.8 (2000=100) from 110.8 in October, which is the lowest level since late 2003. The index decreased 8.8 percent compared with a year earlier, marking the largest year-over-year decrease since December 2000. Year-to-date, the truck tonnage index was down 2.8 percent, compared with the same period in 2005. The not seasonally adjusted index decreased 9.5 percent from October to 106.5. >>>

etc....
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Here is the American Trucking Association press release the article is based on. Of interest is the chart that accompanies the release, so take a quick look. Technically, it makes the situation seem somewhat more dire than the article alone. There is no way to spin this in a positive way.

aww, just try harder, you can always spin things.
how about this:

"When seasonal adjustments are applied, we find that trucking shipments were only slightly down, most likely due to a major storm that happened. Also, it is suspected that since more giftcards are being given as holiday gifts, that many seasonal sales are being pushed out into early January and February when the giftcards get used."

just remember,
there are always ways to spin
-USD
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I think you have to look a bit deeper before coming to any conclusions on this.

First thing that comes to my mind is the housing implosion. I suspect that alone could account for most if not all of the decline in shipping. That would make this a trailing indicator rather than a leading one, ie just a side effect.

Other factors could include the switch from big SUVs to small SUVs and cars (less weight, smaller size). There is also an increasing push to use the rail system more. Yet another factor may be the type of goods being purchased, ie people buying more mp3 players and plasma TVs - what were they buying before those items became popular?

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First thing that comes to my mind is the housing implosion. I suspect that alone could account for most if not all of the decline in shipping. That would make this a trailing indicator rather than a leading one, ie just a side effect.

There is no question that housing is a leading indicator so in no way can a trucking slowdown because of housing be a trailing indicator.

Mish
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"There is no question that housing is a leading indicator so in no way can a trucking slowdown because of housing be a trailing indicator.

Mish"


I have to disagree. A leading indicator is defined as an indicator that changes before the economy changes. The housing sector of the economy has already changed, so an ex-post-facto change in shipping as a result is not leading. You would have to believe that the decline in shipping is related to something else (something 'not visible') to say it is leading.

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