Privately held U.S. companies are growing sales this year so far at the fastest rate in three years, according to the financial information company Sageworks.

Looking at statements filed over the past 12 months ended March 2015, private companies are growing sales at a rate of 9.2 percent, the highest rate of revenue growth since 2012. These companies are also seeing an average net profit margin of nearly 9 percent, a five-year high, continuing their pattern of consistent post-recession margin expansion.

“The news is good all the way around for private companies,” said Sageworks chairman Brian Hamilton in a statement. “These businesses are performing well right now, and you can see this positive performance reflected in the improving job market and falling unemployment rate.”

While performance over the past year stands out as especially healthy, data from Sageworks show four consecutive years of strong revenue growth and solid net profit margins from America’s private companies.

Hamilton noted that even companies in the retail industry, a sector that struggled to keep pace in the years immediately following the recession, are starting to catch up with the average private company.

Construction companies, another industry that was late to recover post-2009, are entering their third consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth, leading the pack in sales growth for major sectors.  

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