by Bill McBride on 5/01/2013 03:51:00 PM
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Based on an estimate from AutoData Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 14.92 million SAAR in April. That is up 6% from April 2012, and down 2% from the sales rate last month.
This was below the consensus forecast of 15.3 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate).
This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for April (red, light vehicle sales of 14.92 million SAAR from AutoData).
Click on graph for larger image.
This was the lowest sales rate in six months.
After three consecutive years of double digit auto sales growth, the growth rate will probably slow in 2013 - but this will still be another positive year for the auto industry.
The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.
Note: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.
Unlike residential investment, auto sales bounced back fairly quickly following the recession and have been a key driver of the recovery. Looking forward, growth will slow for auto sales. If sales average the recent pace for the entire year, total sales will be up about 5% from 2012.