by Calculated Risk on 1/06/2020 12:41:00 PM
Monday, January 06, 2020
The BEA released their estimate of December vehicle sales this morning. The BEA estimated light vehicle sales of 16.70 million SAAR in December 2019 (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), down 2.3% from the November sales rate, and down 3.9% from December 2019.
Light vehicle sales in 2019 were 16.97 million, down 1.4% from 17.21 million in 2018.
Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows light vehicle sales since 2006 from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for December (red).
Note: The GM strike might have impacted sales in October.
A small decline in sales last 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).
The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.
Note: dashed line is current estimated sales rate of 16.70 million SAAR.
Sales have been decreasing slightly, but are still at a high level.
The third graph shows annual light vehicle sales since 1976.
2019 was the 7th best year for vehicle sales following 2016 (best year), 2015, 2000, 2018, 2017 and 2001.