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Thursday, August 01, 2013

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales decline to 15.6 million annual rate in July, Best July since 2006

by Calculated Risk on 8/01/2013 03:03:00 PM

Based on an estimate from WardsAuto, light vehicle sales were at a 15.61 million SAAR in July. That is up 11% from July 2012, and down 2% from the sales rate last month.

This was below the consensus forecast of 15.8 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate).

This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for July (red, light vehicle sales of 15.61 million SAAR from WardsAuto).

Vehicle Sales Click on graph for larger image.

This is highest level for July auto sales since 2006.

After three consecutive years of double digit auto sales growth, the growth rate will probably slow in 2013 - 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 had 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 8% from 2012.