by Calculated Risk on 3/05/2019 12:11:00 PM
Tuesday, March 05, 2019
The BEA released their estimate of February vehicle sales. The BEA estimated sales of 16.53 million SAAR in February 2019 (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), down 0.8% from the January sales rate, and down 2.3% from February 2018.
2019 is off to a slow start for vehicle sales; averaging 16.6 million through February (average of seasonally adjusted rate).
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, but 2019 is off to a slow start.
The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.
Note: dashed line is current estimated sales rate of 16.53 million SAAR.
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).