Just a quick update here on some of the near real-time economic indicators I track. Rail traffic and jobless claims are among the better macro indicators we see with some regularity. They’re obviously not a perfect reflection of the economy, but when taken in accordance with the broader picture they certainly help provide some clarity
The latest update on rail trends continues to show signs of modest expansion. The latest 12 week moving average comes in at 5% which is actually a healthier average rate than we’ve seen through most of the recovery. Granted, this is just one sliver of the economy, but it is certainly a positive sign (via AAR):
Weekly jobless claims continued their downward trend in recent weeks with the 4 week average dipping below 300K. This is generally consistent with a healing labor market and a clear sign that the US economy continues to move in the right direction.
All in all, this seems to confirm the “muddle through” macro view I’ve maintained for the last few years and these indicators look consistent with the other indicators I track more broadly….