Consumer confidence hit an 8-year high in terms of overall increase in November, the highest one month increase since 2003. The Conference Board of New York releases consumer confidence data and the November rating was at 56 points, which was a significant increase over October’s 40.9.
The Conference Board states that consumer spending accounts for nearly 70 percent of the American economy and the dramatic rise is expected to payoff for retailers, which in turn will be good news for America’s commercial trucking industry.
Economists say some of the rise in consumer confidence is due to the holiday shopping season as many customers are expected to spend the most since the recession of 2008. That will mean retailers will be in a hurry to restock inventory and commercial trucks will be called upon to fill deliver those orders.
Another positive figure released recently was that the sale of new homes in America rose by 1.3 percent in October, according to a report by the U.S. Commerce Department. New home sales account for 15 percent of all homes sales and existing home sales were also up by 1.4 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Home sales have a direct impact on the commercial trucking industry as new homes sales mean there will be more deliveries of construction equipment, machinery and furniture. For every new home that is sold another consumer is expressing confidence in the economy, which is also another good sign for the trucking industry.
These increases are positive signs for the commercial trucking industry but the proof that things are looking up for trucks is found in the monthly freight tonnage index, which increased by 6 percent in October compared to the same time last year.
The American Trucking Association’s advanced non-seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index equaled 118.5 in Oct. 2011, an increase of nearly 6 percent from Oct. 2010. Overall the ATA’s tonnage reading was a bit lower than the month before but the trend continues to point to a bright future for the trucking industry as the demand for professional truck drivers continues to grow across the country.
“Tonnage readings continue to show that the economy is growing and not sliding back into recession,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a release on the ATA website. “Over the last two months, tonnage is up nearly 2 percent and is just shy of the recent high in January of this year.”
All of these numbers are good news for the trucking industry and further proof that the demand for more professionally trained drivers is here to stay. As carriers look to keep up with demand the search for more drivers continues, with some estimates believing another 400,000 will be needed over the next decade.