Retail’s rebound bodes well for holidays

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The economy’s still sputtering, but it looks like there will be lots of freight through the holidays. At least consumer goods and other cargo related to retail sales are doing well, based on recent reports.

Retail sales in September were up 7.9 percent versus a year ago, and 8.0 percent for year-to-date sales vs. 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s report today. The 1.1 percent sales increase from August to September was the biggest since February, notes Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations.

That strength isn’t limited to retail. Manufacturing has expanded for 26 consecutive months, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

“Overall, the latest numbers suggest that the U.S. economy is not in a recession at the moment,” writes Costello in his weekly roundup.

Your neighbor might still be getting unemployment pay, but you should be getting plenty of miles for the foreseeable future unless you’re in a niche that’s taken a hit.