A report released in April showed that the overall economic activity in the United States dropped slightly in the first quarter of 2018, as the consumer spending post-holiday season eased. This estimate is the first of three, with the second set to be released around the end of May. Despite the economic growth dropping, analyst expected it to be much worse. It is common for the economy to drop some after the holiday season at the end of the previous year, and 2018 was no exception. The gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent, which is down from the 2.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2017, but still not as bad as it has been in the past.
This is one of the lowest percentages in economic improvement since 2013, which has a lot to do with a decrease in consumer spending. The measure of total output of goods and services was pulled down by a mere 1.1 percent raise in commercial spending, which is the largest sector of the American economy. Comparatively, consumer spending was at a 4 percent increase at the end of the final quarter of 2017.
It can be difficult to understand what all this means. Even though this percentage of growth is higher than expected, even with such a low standard, the economy cannot be supported with such low numbers. Analysts expect the numbers to pick back up later on in the year, but over time, they are slowly dropping which is mildly concerning looking forward. For now, though, most experts say that there is little reason to be concerned.
For the trucking industry, low consumer spending can mean a cut to industry-wide revenue, but most reports say that is not likely to happen. Regardless of material consumer spending, the industry will always be needed to transport everyday necessities like food, clothing, and livestock. With the recent shortage of drivers, it is even less likely that we will see an increase in layoffs.