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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Lower
by Tom Moeller December 2, 2004

Unit sales of light vehicles fell another 3.4% m/m last month on top of the 3.1% decline in October to a 16.39M selling rate. Consensus expectations had been for sales of 16.6M.

Sales of light trucks again were notably weak, falling 4.1% to the lowest sales rate since June. Domestic light truck sales fell 3.8% m/m (-2.1% y/y) and imported light truck sales were off 5.9% (+1.7% y/y).

Lower sales of imported autos, down 9.7% (+5.4% y/y), led total auto sales 2.5% m/m lower following two months of gain. Sales of domestic autos rose 1.0% (-9.2% y/y).

Imports' share of the US market for new vehicles slipped to 21.0%.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Nov Oct Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total 16.39 16.96 -3.3% 16.69 16.81 17.26
  Autos 7.34 7.53 -5.3% 7.63 8.07 8.48
  Trucks 9.05 9.43 -1.6% 9.06 8.74 8.78
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