One Surprising Indicator of Economic Strength: Pickup Truck Sales

January 21, 2020

Small business confidence was strong throughout 2019, if one unconventional indicator is to be believed. Business research firm DataTrek tracks the sales of pickup trucks as a sign of the health of small businesses. Sales of pickup trucks in 2019 reached $72 billion, or 2.4 million units, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2018. Researchers also note little sign of slaes dropping off in the new year.

The firm claims that truck sales are a helpful indicator because they are used in a wide variety of small businesses and are typically a discretionary purchase. If businesses are worried about conditions in the coming year, they can opt to repair existing vehicles or purchase a used one. The firm has analyzed sales data since the 1990s, tracking sales of trucks primarily used for business rather than personal use.

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