The Trucking Index of GDP

USA Today highlights a new measure of economic activity that is based on truckers' use of diesel fuel. This is an interesting way to try to get an up-to-date measure of the production and sale of goods in the economy. By contrast GDP numbers only come out quarterly and are not released until a month after the quarter is over. Similar information can be found by simply examining the index of hours worked in trucking in the monthly employment report. (Unfortunately, the Labor Department just stopped publishing this index for the trucking sector this month.)

--Dean Baker

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