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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Down
by Tom Moeller November 2, 2007

U.S. sales of light vehicles last month fell 1.1% from September to a 16.06M unit annual selling rate. That followed the slight 0.3% decline during September, according to the Autodata Corporation.

Domestically made vehicle sales fell 2.5% m/m to 12.08M (-2.1% y/y). Sales of domestic light trucks again seemed to show the effects of higher gas prices and were down 2.9% m/m to a 7.07M selling rate (-3.4% y/y. Meanwhile, sales of U.S. made cars more than reversed the September increase with a 1.9% decline to 5.06M units last month (-0.4% y/y).

Sales of the relatively fuel efficient imported light vehicles posted another gain. The 3.4% rise to 3.88M units (0.1% y/y) was to near the average level of sales during the record year of 2006. Sales look to be rising another 5% this year. Imported light truck sales rose 1.3% last month (-0.8% y/y) and sales of imported autos rose 4.7% to 2.46M units (0.7% y/y).

Import's share of the U.S. light vehicle market rose to 24.8% versus an average 23.1% for all of last year.

The statement accompanying this week's FOMC meeting can be found here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units)  October September Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Total 16.05 16.23 -1.6% 16.55 16.96 16.87
  Autos 7.47 7.45 0.0% 7.77 7.65 7.49
    Domestic 5.06 5.10 -0.4% 5.31 5.40 5.36
    Imported 2.46 2.35 0.7% 2.45 2.25 2.14
  Trucks 8.59 8.77 -2.9% 8.78 9.32 9.37
    Domestic 7.07 7.28 -3.4% 7.42 8.12 8.15
    Imported 1.52 1.50 -0.8% 1.37 1.20 1.23
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