Increased traffic congestion means stronger economy

Wednesday, Jul 17 2013 admin

increaded traffic congestionThere’s bad news and good news for truckers. First the bad news: traffic congestion increased 9.3% nationally from May of 2012 to May of 2013. The good news is that the increase is an indicator of a strengthening economy. So says the latest monthly INRIX Gridlock Index report. INRIX is a data technology company that sources real time data from approximately 100 million vehicles and devices to provide traffic and driving-related insight and information.

“The overall rise in traffic in the first five months of the year is indicative of increased confidence in the direction of the economy,” commented Bryan Mistele, CEO of INRIX. “Renewed consumer spending, especially on new vehicles, means more shoppers at stores, more cars on the road and more traffic on our streets.”

What the 9.3% increase in traffic congestion means to a driver is that an average trip driven this May in the 100 most populated metro areas took seven percent longer than that same trip a year ago. This economic strengthening may be happening in different gears for each region of the U.S., however. The largest increase in traffic congestion was in the Western U.S. at 15.7 percent. The Northeast came in second at 11.2% with the Midwest metros areas following at 9.1 percent. The South trailed all regions with only a 2.4 percent increase.

Further amplifying the connection between traffic congestion and the economy, the INRIX-reported increase corresponds with the Federal Reserve’s recent statement that the economic growth for 2013 is projected to be between a 2.3 and 2.6 annual rate, and improving to a 3.0 to 3.5 percent in 2014. The unemployment rate is forecasted to fall between 7.2 percent and 7.3 percent, slightly improved from the previously forecasted 7.3 to 7.5 percent. Unemployment numbers in 2014 are projected to continue to decrease, falling to 6.5 to 6.8 percent in 2014.

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