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Thursday, September 01, 2011

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales at 12.12 million SAAR in August

by Calculated Risk on 9/01/2011 04:20:00 PM

Based on an estimate from Autodata Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 12.12 million SAAR in August. That is up 5.3% from August 2010, and down less than 1% from the sales rate last month (12.2 million SAAR in July 2011).

This was right at the consensus forecast of 12.1 million SAAR.

This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales (seasonally adjusted annual rate) from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for August (red, light vehicle sales of 12.12 million SAAR from Autodata Corp).

Vehicle Sales Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

Sales declined slightly from the July rate.

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

This shows the huge collapse in sales in the 2007 recession, and that the current level of sales are close to the 1990 recession bottom. This also shows the impact of the tsunami and supply chain issues on sales in May and June.

Vehicle SalesNote: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.

Growth in auto sales should make a positive contribution to Q3 GDP as sales bounce back from the May and June lows. However, so far, sales in Q3 have average 12.16 million, only slightly above the Q2 rate - May and June were very weak, but April was above 13 million SAAR.