Lesser Known Economic Indicators

MSNBC and Bloomberg analyze a host of lesser known economic indicators which suggest that the economic recovery may be stronger than expected. Many of the lesser known indicators focus on transported material as an effort to predict future economic activity. One for instance, predicts future manufacturing by the amount of diesel fuel (used for fueling semi-trucks) on interstate highways. Another uses shipments of waste and scrap metal to estimate the service sector. Another round-about way of measuring focuses on electric usage -- since businesses use more when they are working more. Other non-traditional indicators are more straightforward, an increase in temp-hiring and hours worked suggests businesses are ramping up production and may be looking to hire soon. But despite the general good news, consumer and state spending data suggest non-traditional indicators, just like more traditional ones, paint an ambiguous picture of economic growth.
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