Monday, July 09, 2018

Annual Vehicle Sales: On Pace to increase slightly in 2018

by Bill McBride on 7/09/2018 01:28:00 PM

The BEA released their estimate of June vehicle sales. The BEA estimated sales of 17.38 million SAAR in June 2018 (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), up 3.2% from the May sales rate, and up 4.7% from June 2017.

Through June, light vehicle sales are on pace to be up slightly in 2018 compared to 2017.

This would make 2018 the fourth best year on record after 2016, 2015, and 2000.

My guess is vehicle sales will finish the year with sales lower than in 2017. A small decline in sales this year isn't a concern - I think sales will move mostly sideways at near record levels.

As I noted last year, this means the economic boost from increasing auto sales is over (from the bottom in 2009, auto sales boosted growth every year through 2016).

Annual Vehicle Sales
Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows annual light vehicle sales since 1976.   Source: BEA.

Sales for 2018 are estimated based on the pace of sales during the first six months.