Traffic Jumps as U.S. Economy Shifts into Higher Gear

by inrixtraffic29. March 2013 00:00

Traffic is back, and in a big way.

The latest INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI) shows drivers have been spending a lot more time sitting bumper-to-bumper. Traffic jumped by almost 10 percent during February, for the largest year-over-year increase ever recorded by our 100-metro area index.

It looks like gridlock levels are finally climbing out of their long slump. While more people hitting the road might be awful for drivers, it’s also a sign that more jobs and more orders are being filled – great news for the economy.

The latest IGI shows that traffic in large metro areas like Boston, Detroit, Chicago and Houston also jumped dramatically. How did your city compare? Check out the complete list of IGI results here.

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Newest INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI): Hope for the U.S. Economy

by inrixtraffic28. January 2013 00:00

The latest edition of the INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI) is out and shows that the U.S. economy might be on a comeback.

The IGI score for December 2012 was 15.2, meaning that the average trip took drivers 15.2% longer because of traffic. This might be a nuisance, but higher levels of traffic congestion also mean that there are more workers working, more shoppers shopping and more business activity overall. This latest IGI score shows that gridlock actually fell by 3% from the year before. So why is this good news for the economy?

Traffic usually falls in December, as holidaymakers stay home. While December’s IGI did show a slight decrease in traffic on a year-over-year basis, the 3% decline was actually seven times better than the year before. This is a gigantic improvement from the previous year, when gridlock fell by 21% from December 2010 to December 2011 year-over-year as double-dip recession worries kicked in.

INRIX Gridlock Index

Another pleasant surprise in the latest IGI was the increase in Detroit’s score from November to December 2012. In fact Detroit was the only area out of the IGI’s 10 metro areas to register an uptick from one month to the next. Great news as the Motor City tries to fight its way back to its former glory.

Here’s a look at how all of the areas scored:

  • Atlanta’s IGI score for December 2012 was 9.3, decreasing by 16.3% from the prior month. On a year-over-year basis Atlanta’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 14%.
  • Boston’s IGI score for December 2012 was 14, decreasing by 18.8% from the prior month. Year-over-year Boston’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 5.4%.
  • Chicago’s IGI score for December 2012 was 10.2, decreasing by 24.3% from the prior month. Year-over-year Chicago’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 16.9%.
  • Dallas’ IGI score for December 2012 was 9.6, decreasing by 17% from the prior month. Year-over-year Dallas’ December 2012 IGI score was down by 9.1%.
  • Detroit’s IGI score for December 2012 was 7.2, increasing by 9.8% from the prior month. Year-over-year Detroit’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 24.2%.
  • Los Angeles’ IGI score for December 2012 was 27.7, decreasing by 12.2% from the prior month. Year-over-year Los Angeles’ December 2012 IGI score was down by -6.9%.
  • Miami’s IGI score for December 2012 was 12.9, decreasing by 14.5% from the prior month. Year-over-year Miami’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 3.5%.
  • New York’s IGI score for December 2012 was 21.8, decreasing by 13.3% from the prior month. Year-over-year New York’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 6.6%.
  • San Francisco’s IGI score for December 2012 was 23.7, decreasing by 11.9% from the prior month. Year-over-year San Francisco’s December 2012 IGI score was up by 1.6%.
  • Washington D.C.’s IGI score for December 2012 was 15.6, decreasing by 13.2% from the prior month. Year-over-year Washington D.C.’s December 2012 IGI score was down by 7.8%.

Did you drive more, less or the same amount in December? And what’s your guess for what IGI will say about the economy next month?

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