It's not surprising: the inflation-adjusted value of U.S. equities has closely tracked the amount of tonnage carried by U.S. trucking services, according to data compiled by the American Trucking Association. Truck tonnage is a reasonable proxy for the size of the economy, so it makes sense that as the economy expands the value of U.S. businesses should rise. At times stocks appear to overshoot or undershoot truck tonnage, but that is likely due to the vagaries of human emotion which tend to magnify the ups and downs of the business cycle.
With truck tonnage up almost 6% in the year ending June 2013, the expansion of the U.S. economy may actually be greater than suggested by the GDP statistics, which, when released later this week, will probably show that the economy grew by about 2% over the same period. GDP growth statistics may be registering a bit on the low side due to the relatively dramatic shrinkage of the public sector during the past four years. Regardless, the ongoing physical expansion of the economy reflected in rising truck tonnage is encouraging.
The recovery is real; it is not a figment of Fed policy or the result of fiscal "pump-priming."
Newest tongue twister: "stocks track truck tonnage"