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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Suffer Housing Market Woes
by Tom Moeller August 2, 2007

During July, U.S. sales of light vehicles fell for the seventh consecutive month this year. The decline was attributed by manufactures to spillover effects from weak housing & construction activity.

The 0.4% m/m decline to an annualized selling rate of 15.5M units, according to the Autodata Corporation, was slight but it dropped sales nearly 10% below the year earlier level. The decline was to the lowest since October 2005.

Sales of imported vehicles dropped a very slight 0.2% m/m to 3.99M (-5.3% y/y), again propped up by sharp discounting. Sales of imported cars ticked up by 0.6% m/m but that was not enough to prevent an 8.6% decline versus a year ago. Sales of imported light trucks fell 1.7% m/m (+1.5% y/y).

Domestic car sales again suffered a steep decline with a hard 5.4%m/m drop (-11.2% y/y). Sales of domestic light trucks recovered a bit of the prior two month’s steep declines with a 3.3% m/m increase (-10.8% y/y).

U.S Exporters: A Rare Breed from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) June May Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Total 15.54 15.60 -9.6% 16.55 16.96 16.87
  Autos 7.37 7.63 -10.3% 7.77 7.65 7.49
  Trucks 8.16 7.97 -8.9% 8.78 9.32 9.37
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