Monday, December 03, 2012

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales at 15.5 million annual rate in November, Highest Since 2007

by Bill McBride on 12/03/2012 03:45:00 PM

Based on an estimate from Autodata Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 15.54 million SAAR in November. That is up 15% from November 2011, and up 9% from the sales rate last month. This is the highest level of sales since December 2007.

This was above the consensus forecast of 15.0 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate), however some of the increase was a bounce back from Hurricane Sandy that negatively impacted sales at the end of October.

This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for November (red, light vehicle sales of 15.54 million SAAR from Autodata Corp).

Vehicle Sales Click on graph for larger image.

Sales have averaged a 14.4 million annual sales rate this year through November, up from 12.7 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.


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 in October was related to Hurricane Sandy, and some of the sharp increase this month was a bounce back.

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