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Monday, February 03, 2014

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales decrease to 15.1 million annual rate in January

by Calculated Risk on 2/03/2014 03:17:00 PM

Based on an estimate from WardsAuto, light vehicle sales were at a 15.14 million SAAR in January. That is down slightly from January 2013, and down 2.5% from the sales rate last month. 

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

Vehicle Sales Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for January (red, light vehicle sales of 15.14 million SAAR from WardsAuto).

The automakers reported January sales were impacted by the unusually cold weather.

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 were a key driver of the recovery.   

Looking forward, the growth rate will slow for auto sales, and most forecasts are for around a small gain in 2014 to around 16.1 million light vehicles.  Of course 2014 is off to a slow start.