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Almost every good we own has been in a truck at one point or another. As such trucking volumes are a key bellwether of the U.S. economy.Unfortunately, truck volumes are looking “weaker than normal” so far in August. This is according to Christian Wetherbee, Citi’s trucking analyst.
From his note to clients:
Last week we conducted a series of channel checks in the Truckload sector and while July freight was in line with expected seasonality, and up from last year’s relative weakness, August volumes were a bit weaker than expected. It appears that August loads were barely positive YoY and roughly flat sequentially (typically August volumes improve from July). Multiple carriers cited uncertainty over the election and overall economic softness as the drivers of August weakness and expected September softness. In addition, as we noted in our weekly, September has two fewer work days than in 2011, which may skew its typical seasonal strength and makes comps more challenging.