Friday, November 21, 2014

Vehicle Sales Forecast: "Could Reach 17 Million" SAAR in November

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2014 05:13:00 PM

The automakers will report November vehicle sales on Tuesday, December 2nd. Sales in October were at 16.35 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales in November might be at or above 17 million SAAR.

Note:  There were 25 selling days in November this year compared to 26 last year.

Here is an early forecast (I'll post more next week).

From WardsAuto: Forecast: SAAR Could Reach 17 Million for Second Time in Four Months

A WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. light-vehicle sales to reach a 17 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate for just the second time since 2006, after crossing that threshold most recently in August, when deliveries equated to a 17.4 million SAAR. The WardsAuto report is calling for 1.29 million light vehicles to be delivered over 25 selling days. The resulting daily sales rate of 51,461 units represents an 8.1% improvement over same-month year-ago (over 26 days) and a 9.1% month-to-month gain on October (27 days), slightly ahead of an average 6% October-November gain over the past three years. The 17 million-unit SAAR would be significantly higher than the 16.3 million recorded year-to-date through October, and would help bring 2014 sales in line with WardsAuto’s full year forecast of 16.4 million units.
It appears there will be a strong finish to 2014 for both auto sales and the economy!

DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 2.3% year-over-year in September

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2014 01:33:00 PM

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:

Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.3% (5.6 billion vehicle miles) for September 2014 as compared with September 2013.

Travel for the month is estimated to be 246.6 billion vehicle miles

Cumulative Travel for 2014 changed by 0.7% (16.7 billion vehicle miles).
The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven.

The rolling 12 month total is slowly moving up, after moving sideways for a few years.

Vehicle Miles Click on graph for larger image.

In the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months.

Currently miles driven has been below the previous peak for 82 months - almost 7 years - and still counting.  Currently miles driven (rolling 12 months) are about 1.8% below the previous peak.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year.

Vehicle Miles Driven YoY In September 2014, gasoline averaged of $3.48 per gallon according to the EIA.  That was down from September 2013 when prices averaged $3.60 per gallon.

Prices will really be down year-over-year in October and November too.

As we've discussed, gasoline prices are just part of the story.  The lack of growth in miles driven over the last 7 years is probably also due to the lingering effects of the great recession (lack of wage growth), the aging of the overall population (over 55 drivers drive fewer miles) and changing driving habits of young drivers.

With all these factors, it might take a few more years before we see a new peak in miles driven - but it does seem like miles driven is now increasing.

Kansas City Fed: Regional Manufacturing "Activity Expanded Further" in November

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2014 11:47:00 AM

From the Kansas City Fed: Growth in Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Expanded Further

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the November Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity expanded at a slightly faster pace in November, and producers’ expectations for future activity increased further.

“Regional factory growth improved somewhat in November, although many contacts reported that the cost to retain or hire quality employees is rising, said Wilkerson. The majority of firms expected activity to improve considerably in the next six months.”

The month-over-month composite index was 7 in November, up from 4 in October and 6 in September. The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes.... The employment index decreased from 16 to 10 ...

The future composite index moved higher from 17 to 22, and the future production, shipments, and order backlog indexes also rose. The future employment index jumped from 16 to 31, its highest level in almost nine years. In contrast, the future new orders index eased from 26 to 24, and the future capital expenditures index also edged lower.
emphasis added
The last regional Fed manufacturing surveys for November will be released next week (the Dallas and Richmond Fed surveys). So far the regional surveys have indicated solid growth in November - suggesting another strong reading for the ISM manufacturing survey - and significant optimism about the future.

BLS: Thirty-four States had Unemployment Rate Decreases in October

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2014 10:14:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in October. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from September, 5 states had increases, and 11 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Georgia had the highest unemployment rate among the states in October, 7.7 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.8 percent.
State Unemployment Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the current unemployment rate for each state (red), and the max during the recession (blue). All states are well below the maximum unemployment rate for the recession.

The size of the blue bar indicates the amount of improvement. 

The states are ranked by the highest current unemployment rate. Georgia, at 7.7%, had the highest unemployment rate for the third consecutive month.

State UnemploymentThe second graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 2006. At the worst of the employment recession, there were 10 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red).

Currently no state has an unemployment rate at or above 8% (light blue); Eight states and D.C. are still at or above 7% (dark blue).

Black Knight: Mortgage Delinquencies decreased in October, Lowest in Seven Years

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2014 07:31:00 AM

According to Black Knight's First Look report for October, the percent of loans delinquent decreased in October compared to September, and declined by 12% year-over-year.  Mortgage delinquencies are at the lowest level since November 2007.

Also the percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined further in October and were down 33% over the last year.  Foreclosure inventory was at the lowest level since February 2008.

Black Knight reported the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) was 5.44% in October, down from 5.67% in September. The normal rate for delinquencies is around 4.5% to 5%.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined to 1.69% in October from 1.76% in September.

The number of delinquent properties, but not in foreclosure, is down 393,000 properties year-over-year, and the number of properties in the foreclosure process is down 418,000 properties year-over-year.

Black Knight will release the complete mortgage monitor for October in early December.

Black Knight: Percent Loans Delinquent and in Foreclosure Process
In Foreclosure1.69%1.76%2.54%3.87%
Number of properties:
Number of properties that are 30 or more, and less than 90 days past due, but not in foreclosure:1,658,0001,760,0001,869,0001,957,000
Number of properties that are 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure:1,101,0001,118,0001,283,0001,543,000
Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory:858,000893,0001,276,0001,800,000
Total Properties3,617,0003,771,0004,427,0005,300,000

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