Tuesday, February 05, 2019

BEA: January Vehicles Sales at 16.6 Million SAAR, 2018 Annual Sales slightly higher than 2017

by Bill McBride on 2/05/2019 04:05:00 PM

The BEA released their estimate of January vehicle sales. The BEA estimated sales of 16.60 million SAAR in January 2019 (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), down 5.1% from the December sales rate, and down 3.0% from January 2018.

Total annual sales were 17.21 million in 2018, up slightly from 17.14 million in 2017.

So 2018 was the fourth best year on record after 2016, 2015, and 2000.

Annual Vehicle Sales
Click on graph for larger image.

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

Sales for 2018 were the fourth best ever.

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

Vehicle SalesNote: dashed line is current estimated sales rate of 16.60 million SAAR.

This was a weak start to 2019, but a small decline in sales this year isn't a concern - I think sales will move mostly sideways at near record levels.

This means the economic boost from increasing auto sales is over (from the bottom in 2009, auto sales boosted growth every year through 2016).