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Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Heavy Truck Sales Solid in September, Up 5% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 10/04/2023 12:39:00 PM

The BEA released their estimate of vehicle sales for September today.

This graph shows heavy truck sales since 1967 using data from the BEA. The dashed line is the September 2023 seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR).

Heavy truck sales really collapsed during the great recession, falling to a low of 180 thousand SAAR in May 2009.  Then heavy truck sales increased to a new record high of 570 thousand SAAR in April 2019.

Heavy Truck Sales Click on graph for larger image.

Note: "Heavy trucks - trucks more than 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight."

Heavy truck sales declined sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, falling to a low of 308 thousand SAAR in May 2020.  

Heavy truck sales were at 513 thousand SAAR in September, down from 544 thousand in August, and up 5% from 490 thousand SAAR in September 2022.  

Usually, heavy truck sales decline sharply prior to a recession.   Sales were solid in September.

As I noted yesterday, Vehicles Sales increase to 15.67 million SAAR in September; Up 15% YoY

Vehicle SalesThe second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.  Vehicle sales were at 15.67 million SAAR in September, up from 15.34 million in August, and up 14% from 13.50 million in Seeptember 2022.

Vehicle sales are usually a transmission mechanism for Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy, although far behind housing.  This time vehicle sales were more suppressed by supply chain issues and have picked up recently.