Most economists agree that trucking-focused measures are leading indicators for domestic economic performance. As such, trucking data shows that turmoil in the stock market is not synonymous with overall economic health. Consider the following:

• Freight tonnage returned to a pre-recession level in early 2011, where it remains
• New truck orders took off in late 2010, moderated in mid-2011, and remain at a 3-year high
• Deliveries (sales) of these new trucks are at levels not seen since before the recession

As for the larger economy, US Industrial Production stats for 2011 have painted a picture of business investment, demand for raw materials, pent-up demand for automobiles after the Japanese disaster, and even some surprises in durable goods.

Of course, the global financial crisis is creating enough uncertainty to keep employers from hiring, and consumers are holding on to more of their disposable income. But keep in mind “uncertainty” in the stock markets is currently driven more by vague comments made by the world’s banking officials than any real data-driven measures. Obviously the Euro Zone economy will take a hit as Greek (and possibly other countries’) debt is inevitably restructured. But it is far from certain that this situation will chop off the US economic recovery at the knees.

Basically, data indicates that the US economy has proven relatively resilient to the existential forces causing swings in the world’s stock markets. As Wall Street’s fund managers and traders play their risk on/risk off games, the cogs and sprockets actually driving the economy continue to turn.