The manufacturing sector received positive economic news this week.
Demand for full-size pickups jumped 16 percent in August, helping to make it the strongest sales month since August 2009. Overall auto sales increased 20 percent from a year earlier to nearly 1.3 million, according to Autodata Corp.
"Cash for Clunkers" rebate program in August of 2009.
The increase in sales shows that businesses need to replace aging trucks and feel more confident about the recovery in U.S. housing — an industry where pickups are essential for hauling equipment and crews.
"Businesses don't usually go buy a fleet of trucks unless they have good reason to believe that business will be ramping up," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for the TrueCar.com auto pricing service.
In pickups, Ford's F-Series, the top-selling vehicle in America, saw a 19 percent sales increase, as did Chrysler's Ram pickup. Sales of General Motors' Chevy Silverado rose 4 percent, while the GMC Sierra was up 9 percent. Toyota's big truck, the Tundra, posted a huge increase of 68 percent.
Those increases come before the normal end of year sales and consumer demand for four-wheel-drives for winter. August auto sales, when calculated at an annual rate, are far stronger than last year's 12.8 million. But they're far short of the recent peak of 17 million in 2005.
The sales numbers are a positive note showing companies are replacing some of their trucks to meet the ongoing needs of their customers.
The spinoff from this manufacturing sector should benefit other support businesses as well. The announcement shows the auto industry is rebounding and consumers are becoming more optimistic about the future.