As trucking goes, so goes the U.S. economy.
The freight trucking industry is growing profit at the fastest rate of all industries, according to financial information company Sageworks. Using an analysis of the financial statements of privately held companies, Sageworks ranked all industries by growth in net profit over the past 12 months and found that general freight trucking grew profitability by 53.8 percent during the period ending May 31.
Also among the five industries growing profit the most during the past year are professional and commercial equipment wholesalers, direct selling establishments, durable goods wholesalers, and automotive parts and accessories stores.
"If the trucking industry is doing well, growing revenue and profit and hiring more employees, it often indicates that consumers' demand is strong and their appetite for buying is high," says Sageworks analyst Kevin Abbas.
According to the American Trucking Associations, more than 93 percent of companies within the trucking industry are small businesses, with 20 or fewer trucks.
Because the freight trucking industry acts as a middleman between production and consumption, increasing profitability in the sector is good news for both U.S. retailers and U.S. manufacturers.
While the 10 industries growing profit the fastest are all seeing growth of 30 percent or more, the average private company is growing profit at a very healthy pace--nearly 24 percent year-over-year--according to Sageworks.
Below are the 10 industries with the fastest-growing net profit during the past 12 months.