Tuesday, December 03, 2013

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales increase to 16.4 million annual rate in November, Highest since Feb 2007

by Bill McBride on 12/03/2013 02:03:00 PM

Based on an estimate from AutoData, light vehicle sales were at a 16.41 million SAAR in November. That is up 7.6% from November 2012, and up 8.3% from the sales rate last month.  Some of the sales in November might be a bounce back from the weakness in October related to the government shutdown.

This was above the consensus forecast of 15.7 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate).

This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for November (red, light vehicle sales of 16.41 million SAAR from AutoData).

Vehicle Sales Click on graph for larger image.

This was the highest sales rate since February 2007, and was probably due to some bounce back buying following the government shutdown.

The growth rate will probably slow in 2013 - compared to the previous three years - but this will still be another solid year for the auto industry.

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

Vehicle SalesNote: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.

Unlike residential investment, auto sales bounced back fairly quickly following the recession and are still 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 almost 9% from 2012, not quite double digit but still strong.

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