Chart of the Week: Trucking Trends

Chart Trucking Trends

For the past several years, trucking data has been a good indicator of the strength of U.S. economic activity. In particular, shipping volumes provide tremendous insight into both the manufacturing and industrial sectors. In a typical economic expansion, shipping volumes rise as businesses order additional supplies and send more finished products to their end markets. That trend is certainly true for much of the current economic expansion. However, shipment volume growth has weakened sharper during the second half of 2018 than previous years. This is another sign pointing to the possibility for slower U.S. growth going forward. However, slower growth does not necessarily mean no growth, or contraction. It will be important to see where shipping volumes go from here, as they are a good indicator for future economic growth.