Total goods carried by trucks in the U.S. fell in August compared with the previous month, marking the largest month-to-month drop since March, a major industry trade group said.
The American Trucking Associations said late Wednesday its seasonally adjusted tonnage index, which measures the weight of freight hauled by U.S. truckers based on membership surveys, fell 1.6 percent in July.
The trade group also said the index fell 0.9 percent in July - revised from the 0.3 percent decline originally reported.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said the downward trend indicates that the U.S. economy will fall into a "mild" recession later this year and early next year.
The Arlington, Va.-based trucking group's members include United Parcel Service Inc. and Knight Transportation Inc.
Truckers serves as a gauge of U.S. economy health because they haul about 70 percent of manufactured and retail goods.