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Economy in Brief

Fleet Purchases Raised U.S. Vehicle Sales in January
by Tom Moeller February 2, 2006

The Autodata Corporation reported that in January, US light vehicle sales rose 2.7% from December to 17.64M units. Consensus expectations had been for a decline to 16.3M.

The surprise stemmed from a 25.7% (23.9% y/y) rise in sales of US made cars as automakers "restocked" rental fleets. In contrast, imported car sales fell 18.9% (-7.0% y/y).

Sales of domestic trucks also fell 5.9% (+0.5% y/y) though sales of imported trucks added 2.9% (9.5% y/y) to the sharp 12.5% increase during December.

Imports' share of the US light vehicle market fell sharply to 18.1% from 21.0% during December.

Consumption-based macroeconomic forecasting from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Jan Dec Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total 17.64 17.17 7.9% 16.92 16.87 16.63
  Autos 8.56 7.64 15.4% 7.65 7.49 7.62
  Trucks 9.08 9.53 1.7% 9.27 9.37 9.01
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