Unemployment remains above average, businesses continue to express concern and banks still aren’t lending at pre-recession levels. But many economists believe America is not headed towards a double dip recession anytime soon because data from the commercial trucking industry shows steady growth.

Freight levels increased slightly in September for America’s trucks and the American Trucking Associations has released data showing the prospect for continued growth in the trucking industry is also good.

“I continue to believe the economy will skirt another recession because truck tonnage isn’t showing signs that we are in a recession,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a press release. “Tonnage is suggesting that we are in a weak growth period for the economy, but not a recession.”

Because the commercial trucking industry is so closely tied to the larger economy as a whole, after all, close to 85 percent of all domestic freight travels by commercial truck, many economists look to the trucking industry in an effort to predict the future. If trucking business is increasing it’s a pretty good sign that the economy as a whole is also growing.

Trucking freight also posted an overall average increase during the third quarter at 0.4 percent. The gains were small, but once again a positive sign that the economy is headed in the right direction as manufactures begin to ship more goods, putting more trucks on America’s roads and increasing the demand for more CDL trained truck drivers.

“Prior to the two previous recessions, truck tonnage was plummeting, but not this time,” Costello said in the release.

Compared with September 2010, the index was up 5.9 percent, also a positive sign for overall economic growth.

The one thing that might hinder the commercial trucking industry from continuing to grow as well as it could is the shortage of professional truck drivers. Trucking companies are in high demand for more drivers, especially those that have professional training and are able to meet today’s standards and regulations.

At the Diesel Driving Academy students are prepared for a career as a professional truck driver by completing a variety of training both in the classroom and behind the wheel of commercial trucks. It’s that variety of training opportunities that make Diesel Driving Academy’s students some of the best drivers entering the workforce and some of the most attractive drivers to commercial trucking companies looking to meet demand.

The economy is still facing its share of challenges and, overall, the economic environment is not back to where it was before the 2008 recession. However, signs of growth in the commercial trucking industry are giving many economist new hopes that the future is looking brighter. If nothing else, the future looks especially bright for the commercial trucking industry.