Auto Affordability Reaches Record High (21.9 Wks.)
"The impact of the cash-for-clunkers program cannot be isolated in the data that we use to construct our Index," said Dana Johnson, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. "However, the average amount that consumers spent on new vehicles in the third quarter was the lowest since early 2004. That along with the monthly pattern of sharp declines in July and August strongly suggests that the federal rebate program was largely responsible for the improvement in affordability this past quarter. In all likelihood, affordability will deteriorate modestly in the current quarter now that these rebates are unavailable."