by Bill McBride on 9/04/2012 02:55:00 PM
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Based on an estimate from Autodata Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 14.52 million SAAR in August. That is up 17% from August 2011, and up 3% from the sales rate last month.
This was above the consensus forecast of 14.3 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate).
This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for August (red, light vehicle sales of 14.52 million SAAR from Autodata Corp).
Click on graph for larger image.
The year-over-year increase was fairly large because the auto industry was still recovering from the impact of the tsunami and related supply chain issues in 2011 (the issues were mostly over in September of 2011).
Sales have averaged a 14.17 million annual sales rate through the first seven months of 2012, up from 12.4 million rate for the same period of 2011.
The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.
Note: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.
This shows the huge collapse in sales in the 2007 recession.
It looks like auto sales will be up slightly in Q3 compared to Q2, and make another small positive contribution to GDP.