Whenever I find myself on the freeway I take visual note of what you might call the big-rig-to-regular-car ratio. When it looks to me like there's a disproportionate number of semis relative to Subarus on the road I'm thinking the economy's in pretty decent shape. And I've been seeing lots of trucks these days!
Generally, I find that what my eyes tell me while driving is confirmed by my charts.
Each week I update and score the 84 data points that comprise our PWA [Macro] Index. Included in my analysis are the stats for truck tonnage, as well as rail carload (commodities) and intermodal (shipping containers and truck trailers moved on rail cars) traffic.
Here's the latest: click to enlarge
Rail Carload/Intermodal Traffic
Yep, for the moment, I'd say pretty decent indeed!