by Bill McBride on 12/01/2011 03:53:00 PM
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Based on an estimate from Autodata Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 13.63 million SAAR in November. That is up 11.4% from November 2010, and up 3.1% from the sales rate last month (13.22 million SAAR in Oct 2011).
This was above the consensus forecast of 13.4 million SAAR.
This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales (seasonally adjusted annual rate) from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for November (red, light vehicle sales of 13.63 million SAAR from Autodata Corp).
Click on graph for larger image.
This was the highest sales rate since August 2009 ("Cash-for-clunkers"), and other than August 2009, this was the highest since June 2008.
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 strong positive contribution to Q4 GDP. Sales in Q3 averaged 12.45 million SAAR, and so far (October and November) sales have averaged 13.42 million SAAR in Q4, an increase of 7.6% over Q3.