Retail Sales Post Better-Than-Expected Increase in January

It looks like the economy is slowly beginning to pick up. And if the economy picks up, and people spend more, that means the truck driving economy is going to pick up too. has posted an informative article about the current economy.

The Commerce Department reported that retail sales increased by 0.5 percent last month, the best showing since November and better than the 0.3 percent increase economists had expected. This is good news for everyone, but especially for truck drivers who have been sitting idle lately as there have been fewer goods to move, since stores are filling their shelves on more of an as-needed basis. You might have noticed that over the holidays the stores just didn't carry as much stock as they usually do. Retailers didn't want to get stuck with a lot of merchandise that ended up getting discounted, so they ordered less hoping to sell it for full retail prices.

The economy is still shaky, the gains are often followed by losses, but things are slowly going in the right directions. Economists are still worried that spending could falter due to the still high unemployment rate and they don't see that getting better quickly.

"We expect that lingering high unemployment, weak income growth, low confidence, tight credit conditions and the continuing need to deleverage will constrain consumption growth for at least this year and possibly well beyond," said Paul Ashworth, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

While that might sound a little on the dire side, the Obama administration has forecasted that the economy would average 95,900 new jobs per month this year. That isn't enough to make much of a dent in the unemployment rate but it is better than losing more jobs. In addition to the 95,900 new jobs per month the overall economy grew at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the October-December period, the best showing in six years. So there is reason to be hopeful and confident that things will get better sooner rather than later. Just maybe not as fast as everyone would like.

The good news is the economy is slowly improving. And as it picks up so will the trucking industry. That makes now an excellent time to consider a career change to truck driving.