A reduction in jobless claims, a revived housing market and a drop in fuel prices are indicators that the U.S. economy is coming back to life and consumers are gaining financial confidence. As a result, truck fleet sales may rise and truck accessory dealers could anticipate a revival in sales of aftermarket add-ons.
The Labor Department announced Oct. 25 that the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment applications had fallen, returning to a level that shows the labor market is making limited progress. Jobless claims decreased by 23,000 from 392,000 to 369,000 from the prior period, as reported by Lorriane Woellert of Bloomberg.
As the labor market sees slow development, strong new-home sales offer evidence that the housing market is recovering at a quicker pace. New single-family home sales in September reached their highest level in nearly two-and-a-half years, as reported by Lucia Mutikani of Reuters.
The Commerce Department said on Oct. 24 that new-home sales increased 5.7%, the fastest pace since April 2010 when sales were boosted by a tax credit for first-time buyers.
In addition, foreclosures fell in nearly two-thirds of the nation’s largest metro areas during the third quarter, meaning 62% of the nation’s 212 largest markets saw foreclosure activity shrink during the last quarter, as reported by Les Christie of CNN Money.
Finally, the Department of Energy reported Oct. 23 that diesel dropped 3.4 cents to $4.116 a gallon, while gasoline plunged 13.2 cents to $3.687, the lowest level in almost three months.
Diesel’s $4.15 national average last week was its highest since August 2008 when it was falling from its all-time high of $4.764 earlier that summer. Gasoline’s fourth decline in five weeks leaves the motor fuel at its lowest level since Aug. 6, according to DOE figures.