One of the leading economic indicators is freight, and so far the news is good in rebounding from the national recession.

An official of Union-Pacific, one of the nation’s big railroads, said freight has recovered in sectors across the states covered by the sprawling network. Louisiana “is really one of our strongest-growing states,” Robert W. Turner told the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

A lot of that business is in the petrochemical sector, as “the chemical corridor on the Gulf Coast is one of our bright spots in recent years,” Turner said. That underlines that one of Louisiana’s strengths as a transportation center is its network of ports and railroads.

One exception to economic recovery, though, is in building materials.

“Anything to do with construction, especially home construction, is not showing signs of life,” Turner reported.

That also has some implications for Louisiana, because of the state’s large timber industry.

Still, Turner’s upbeat report suggests that, though not as strong as hoped for in many quarters, an economic recovery is in progress.