"TRUCKOMETER" New Zealand: - The Heavy Traffic Index
* Wellington - Unorthodox index measures how well New Zealand keeps trucking
New Zealand is on the right track, the country with stunning scenery is currently heading down the road - literally - to slower growth... New Zealand has a "truckometer" that measures trucking miles as a proxy for economic activity. The latest index from ANZ, New Zealand's biggest lender, showed heavy traffic - meaning trucks and buses - fell 5.7 percent in July from June, suggesting the third quarter got off to a sluggish start... "Detour" was the headline on the ANZ Truckometer released on Tuesday... New Zealand, may be the only place with trucking as a proxy for economic activity... In 2012, ANZ economist Sharon Zollner asked New Zealand's transport agency for access to years of traffic flow numbers. She sliced and diced the data to represent the roads around major ports and dairy-product factories - sources of a key Kiwi export - and separated trucks from cars. The result was the Heavy Traffic Index - there's a light one too - that's a window into economic activity published well before official gross domestic product figures released three months after a quarter... The Heavy Traffic Index has a base of 1,000, from January 2004. The July reading was 1,335, down from the previous month's 1,417... One downside of the monthly index is its volatility, which makes it difficult to be certain there was a slip in July, as that runs counter to other indicators suggesting growth. Some traders keep an eye on the truckometer... Even the country's central bank uses the underlying data, though it creates its own models rather than use the ANZ Truckometer, Reserve Bank of New Zealand spokesman Angus Barclay said...
(Photo: State Highway one New Zealand North entry Tokoroa South Waikato truck) -- Wellington, NZ - Reuters/The Daily Mail, by Charlotte Greenfield / Richard Borsuk - 10 Aug 2016