Consumer spending pushes business to trucks
Consumer spending levels were the strongest in three years during the fourth quarter of 2013 as the nation’s economy continues to grow, which is good news for the commercial truck industry and the thousands of drivers who work in it.
Economic growth is pushing more business to the trucking sector, which ships the majority of cargo in the United States. As the demand for trucking services continues to grow, the demand for qualified drivers will also increase, which could make now a great time to consider a career as a professional truck driver.
“The fourth-quarter increase followed a 4.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter, when the economy benefited from a buildup in business stockpiles,” reported the Associated Press. “Many economists think growth could top 3 percent in 2014. That would be the best performance since the recession ended in mid-2009.”
The AP also reported that consumer spending grew at a rate of 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was “a significant acceleration from 2 percent spending growth in the third quarter.” That rate represented the best spending pace since the fourth quarter of 2010.
Consumer spending is the most important aspect of the economy as it accounts for about 70 percent of the overall economy. It is also important to the commercial trucking sector because consumer purchases are mostly shipped by truck.
When the economy grows that typically means more business for commercial truck carriers, which have already experienced significant growth in recent years. As consumers purchase more items from retailers, more orders will be placed to restock shelves, and that will mean more trucks will be delivering goods. Many carriers face a shortage of qualified drivers as they work to meet the growing demand for shipping. Retailers are placing orders at a growing rate and more trucks are needed ship clothing, appliances, furniture and almost every other type of consumer product.
“The strength in consumer spending reflected gains in purchases of durable goods such as autos and nondurable goods such as clothing,” which are items commonly shipped by commercial truck.
“The 3.2 percent estimated growth rate for the economy was the government’s first of three projections of gross domestic product for the October-December quarter,” reported the AP. “The GDP measures the economy’s total output of goods and services.”
The growth of 2013 is expected to carry into 2014, which means the recent growth of the commercial trucking sector could be long-term, making this a potentially strong career field for jobseekers with professional CDL training.