Thursday, November 01, 2012

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales at 14.3 million annual rate in October

by Bill McBride on 11/01/2012 04:34:00 PM

Based on an estimate from Autodata Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 14.29 million SAAR in October. That is up 8% from October 2011, and down 4% from the sales rate last month.

This was below the consensus forecast of 14.9 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate), however sales were impacted by Hurricane Sandy at the end of October, and sales will probably bounce back quickly.

This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for October (red, light vehicle sales of 14.29 million SAAR from Autodata Corp).

Vehicle Sales Click on graph for larger image.

Sales have averaged a 14.24 million annual sales rate through the first ten months of 2012, up from 12.6 million rate for the same period of 2011. Last year sales were depressed for several months (May through August) due to supply chain issues related to the tsunami in Japan. By September 2011, the supply chain issues were mostly resolved, and this year-over-year increase for October is significant.

The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.

Vehicle SalesNote: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.

This shows the huge collapse in sales in the 2007 recession.

Most (or all) of the month-to-month decline was related to Hurricane Sandy.

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