Linking smog and green shoots

The traffic analytics gurus at Inrix say the economy is turning around and they have the frustrated drivers to prove it. Inrix's Gridlock Index has been steadily improving in recent months and has now spent two months in positive year-over-year territory. Check out the Gridlock Index going back to January of 2011 here.

January's composite IGI score of 6.4 meant that the average trip took drivers in the 100 most populated metro areas 6.4 percent longer because of increased traffic congestion. While the latest IGI trends suggest economic conditions might be getting better, a look over the longer-term shows the economy still has a ways to go. January's IGI score is still far below the level last reached in 2010, when U.S. GDP growth bounced back into positive territory after two years of contraction.