IFTA fuel taxes and the state of the economy

April 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

IFTA Plus has helped thousands of companies prepare their fuel tax returns for the past 5 years.  As we capture company mileage and fuel usage across different quarters, we are in a unique position of being able to determine how much companies are driving quarter over quarter and where they are driving most.  For those not in the transportation industry, the two critical pieces of information IFTA fuel taxes capture are the number of miles driven in each state and the amount of fuel purchased in each state.

The trucking industry is a well tracked indicator of the state of the overall economy.  When the economy is good, manufacturing increases, purchasing increases, shipping increases and therefore the transportation industry improves.  There are several metrics tracked in the industry including the monthly tonnage.  Several blogs talk about the reality of a changing industry driven by a slow economy.  Other writers like to speculate on the future state of the economy.

Here at IFTA Plus, we put together a few simple charts that compare where miles are being driven and how companies are performing.

State mileage changes: This chart shows the difference in miles per state between Q1 2010 and Q4 2010.

IFTA Plus state chart

You can see that states in the East increased miles driven and states in the West decreased in miles driven.

Company mileage changes.  This graph shows how companies performed quarter over quarter.

This graph shows in Q4 2010, only 46% of returning IFTA Plus companies increased their miles driven over the previous quarter.  In fact, to summarize this chart, here are the percentages of companies that increased their miles driven vs the previous quarter:

Q1 2008 – 59%
Q2 2008 – 60%
Q3 2008 – 47%
Q4 2008 – 42%
Q1 2009 – 45%
Q2 2009 – 62%
Q3 2009 – 52%
Q4 2009 – 46%
Q1 2010 – 49%
Q2 2010 – 63%
Q3 2010 – 48%
Q4 2010 – 46%

We’re not economists and we don’t give any indications that our data is a diverse and representative cross section of the trucking industry.  However, the number are interesting to look through.

Entry filed under: economy, ifta, ifta fuel taxes, transportation, Transportation Industry. Tags: , , , , .

First Quarter 2011 IFTA Fuel Tax Preparation Q1 2011 IFTA fuel taxes due soon

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