by Bill McBride on 11/01/2011 04:35:00 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Based on an estimate from Autodata Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 13.26 million SAAR in October. That is up 9.2% from October 2010, and up 1.7% from the sales rate last month (13.04 million SAAR in Sept 2011).
This was slightly above the consensus forecast of 13.2 million SAAR.
This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales (seasonally adjusted annual rate) from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for October (red, light vehicle sales of 13.26 million SAAR from Autodata Corp).
Click on graph for larger image.
This was just above the February sales and the highest sales rate since August 2009 ("Cash-for-clunkers")
The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.
This shows the huge collapse in sales in the 2007 recession. This also shows the impact of the tsunami and supply chain issues on sales, especially in May and June.
Note: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.
Growth in auto sales should make a positive contribution to Q4 GDP. Sales in Q3 averaged 12.45 million SAAR, and if November and December are at the October rate, sales will be up 6.5% in Q4 over Q3.