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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Better than Bleak Newspaper Headlines
by Tom Moeller September 5, 2007

U.S. sales of light vehicles during August improved 6.5% versus a weak performance in July. The increase followed two months of sharp m/m decline and resulted in a small 0.7% increase in sales versus last August, according to the Autodata Corporation.

Overall sales of domestic light vehicles rose 10.1% m/m to an annualized selling rate of 12.57M (1.7% y/y). Sales of domestic light trucks recovered to one of the best selling rates this year with a 12.9% rise to 7.54M (4.5% y/y). Domestic car sales also made up for a weak July with a 6.2% m/m rise to 5.03M units (-2.2% y/y)

Sales of imported light vehicles were weak and posted a 4.4% decline to 3.7M units (-2.5% y/y). It was the sixth m/m decline this year. Sales of imported cars led the decline with a 5.9% drop (-9.38 y/y) to 2.3 units. Imported light truck sales also fell 1.6% to 1.39M (+11.5% y/y).

Remarks by Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey M. Lacker on the Economic Outlook are available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) August July Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Total 16.27 15.54 .71% 16.55 16.96 16.87
  Autos 7.34 7.19 -4.61% 7.77 7.65 7.49
  Trucks 8.93 8.09 5.55% 8.78 9.32 9.37
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