Truck traffic on Illinois' tollways increased by more than 6 percent at the start of the year, and experts say that could be good news for the economy.
The Rockford Register Star reports that 21.5 million trucks passed through Illinois toll booths between January 1 and March 30, compared with about 20.1 million in 2011. Those figures are according to a report at the tollway's May meeting.
The newspaper reports that the U.S. Bureau of Transportation sees a close link between growth in freight transportation and an improved economy. That's because demand for freight transportation services goes up when demand for manufactured goods increases.
DePaul University transportation professor Joseph Schwieterman says he's seeing consumer spending move up consistently, and he says railroad and truck traffic has been "robust."