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While traditional economic indicators get the most attention, a lot of economists like to look at sales of pickup trucks as an indicator of strength in the small business sector. The reason they focus on pickup truck sales is because small business owners tend to make up a large portion of the overall buyers of these types of vehicles. To that point, Ford's (NYSE:F) December report of its iconic F-Series truck line continues to signal positive growth in the U.S. economy.

For the month of December, Ford sold 68.8K F-Series trucks, which was a slight increase from December 2011. For the entire year, total sales of F-Series trucks were 645.3K, representing a 10.3% increase from 2012, and the third straight year of annual increases. Looking ahead to 2013, a continued rebound in housing and construction should bode well for sales of Ford's iconic F-series line.

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