Trucks outsold cars by the highest margin in nearly five years in October, a sign the economy may be starting to improve. The truck segment includes pickups, SUVs, minivans, and smaller SUVs. This category also known as light-duty trucks, made up 54 percent of all new U.S. vehicle sales last month, compared with 46 percent for cars, according to industry tracker J.D. Power and Associates. It’s the biggest difference since December 2005, when trucks accounted for 56 percent of sales.
Strong truck sales can mean people are willing to spend money again. Small business owners may feel comfortable enough to buy a new pickup truck or delivery van for their company; and regular folks may be confident enough in their jobs and finances to take on beefy SUV payments.
The trends behind the stronger truck sales demonstrate that people are spending more. Personal savings rates are coming down. The most recent figures show the rate has decreased from a yearly high of 6.4 percent in June to 5.3 percent in September. Also, gasoline is still affordable, for now.