Tuesday, August 03, 2010

U.S. Car Buyers Are Bullish on the U.S. Economy

Car sales rebounded in July to the highest level since last August, as consumers purchased more than 12 million new vehicles last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (see chart above, data here). On a cumulative year-to-date basis, vehicle sales are 14.7% ahead of last year at this time.  Compared to the month of July last year, total vehicle sales are up by 5.1% this year, boosted by a whopping 17.6% increase in light trucks versus last July (see related CD post "The Pickup Indicator"). 

Ignoring last August when sales were artificially high due to the "cash for clunkers" program July auto sales were the highest in almost two years, since September 2008 when 12.52 million units were sold (on annual basis).  The American consumers must be pretty bullish on the American economy based on their willingness to buy new vehicles, despite all of the gloom and doom and talk of a "double dip."    

4 Comments:

At 8/03/2010 5:45 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Actually the yearly sales rate (11 million) is below the replacement rate. Every year 14 million cars go into the junk yard. If you do simple math, and realize the industry was selling 3 million more cars than was needed, it would mean 3 years of sub par sales before needs drive car sales into a more normal range.

 
At 8/04/2010 9:50 AM, Blogger Mr. C. said...

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that US car sales have recovered to 1983 levels?

 
At 8/04/2010 12:21 PM, Blogger Eric said...

"The American consumers must be pretty bullish on the American economy based on their willingness to buy new vehicles, despite all of the gloom and doom and talk of a "double dip."

Please inform Ben Bernanke that his "unusually uncertain" comment about the economic future is mistaken and he should look at the charts his reserve banks are pushing on us.

 
At 8/04/2010 2:20 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

Mark,

I followed the link and it showed the July data having an asterick because the seasonal adjustments had not been issued by the BEA. They have since been pubilshed and the revised data was for auto sales of 11.52 million (SAAR). While this is up slightly from June, it is still down from the may (or March) levels.

 

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