Thursday, August 30, 2012

Forecasts: Light Vehicle Sales expected to increase in August

by Calculated Risk on 8/30/2012 02:29:00 PM

In addition to the decent personal income and outlays report for July released this morning, and solid retailer results for August, it appears auto (and light truck) sales increased in August.

TrueCar is forecasting: August 2012 New Car Sales Expected to Be Up 17 Percent

For August 2012, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,255,392 units, up 17.2 percent from August 2011 and up 8.9 percent from July 2012 (on an unadjusted basis)
The August 2012 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (“SAAR”) of 14.2 million new car sales, up from 12.1 million in August 2011 and up from 14.1 million in July 2012 is forecasting: August Car Sales Offer a Pleasant Summer Surprise for the Auto Industry ... forecasts that 1,287,603 new cars will be sold in August for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) this month of 14.5 million light vehicles. If the numbers hold, August will be the second best month of 2012 in terms of SAAR and the third best month in terms of unit sales.

“Sales showed signs of flattening out in the first couple months of summer, so August’s sales figures will come as a nice surprise for everyone in the auto industry,” says Senior analyst Jessica Caldwell.
... estimates that August’s projected sales will be an 11.7 percent increase from July 2012, and a 20.1 percent increase (unadjusted for number of selling days) from August 2011. Retail SAAR will come in at 12.0 million vehicles in August, with fleet transactions accounting for 17.0 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.1 million used cars will be sold in August, for a SAAR of 36.9 million (compared to 3.2 million – or a SAAR of 36.3 million – used car sales in July).
The cash-for-clunkers spike was at a SAAR of 14.546, and the Edmunds forecast is close. Note: There was one more selling day in August 2012 than in August 2011. Light vehicle sales for August will be released on Tuesday, Sept 4th.

This doesn't suggest "a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery" (from the FOMC minutes), but it does suggest some pickup in Q3.