Business: Boost for Trucking

After its worst first quarter since World War II, the trucking industry last week saw signs that business is picking up. Tonnage hauled in May was 2.6% above April (though still down 5.8% from last year). Truckers expect the June figures to show a bigger rise. To economists, who consider trucking a good index of general business conditions, it was another cheering sign of improvement in the U.S. economy. Truckers haul about 20% of the nation's freight —and because most of their freight is finished products rather than raw materials, they are sensitive to a pickup in sales.

Most of the improvement...