Truckable Economic Activity, a trucking-specific economic indicator developed by MacKay & Company, posted another advance in the first quarter of 2012, paced by gains in four of its five components.

TEA is the economic measurement of only those parts of GDP that are moved by truck. It has five components: consumption, investment, exports, imports and government. For 1Q, forward progress was noted everywhere except in the government sector, where budget austerity continues to prevail.

TEA's 4.3% increase posted is consistent, both in terms of level and trend, with the growth rates we associate with a period of economic expansion, says MacKay.

"Even so, when comparing the performance of Total TEA in this expansion to those of previous episodes, we continue to see that we are tracking well below both the average and minimum gains for this stage of the business cycle."

Also of note was continued evidence of improvement in the construction-related components of TEA, one of the sectors heaviest hit in the downturn.

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