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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Tick Up in December, Down in 2007
by Tom Moeller January 4, 2008

U.S. sales of light vehicles rose all of 0.4% last month to a 16.27M unit annual selling rate, according to the Autodata Corporation. The uptick followed a 0.9% increase during November. These recent upticks left sales for the year down 2.2% from 2006 when sales fell 2.5% from 2005.

Sales of domestically made light vehicles fell 0.6% last month after a 1.0% November rise. For the full year domestically made vehicle sales fell 4.2%, a decline similar to the 5.9% drop in 2006. Sales of U.S. made cars fell 4.8% last month and were down 4.5% for the year. Sales of domestically made light trucks, however, rose 2.9% in December and made up a small part of the prior three months' decline. For the year sales of domestically made light trucks fell 4.0% on top of an 8.7% 2006 decline.

Sales of imported light vehicles rose 3.6% last month for the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The rise to 4.14M units was to the new record level. Last month's increase was due to a 4.7% gain in sales of imported autos. A 1.7% rise in sales of imported light trucks lifted sales 8.2% for the full year.

Import's share of the U.S. light vehicle market rose to a near record 25.4% during December. The rise in import's share for all of 2007 to 24.6% was a new record for any year.

Today's speech by Fed Vice ChairmanDonald L. Kohn At the American Economic Association Session can be found here.

Stock Prices and Business Investment from the Federal eserve Bank of Philadelphia is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) December  November Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total 16.27 16.20 0.4% 16.18 16.55 16.96
  Autos 7.82 7.97 -1.8% 7.58 7.77 7.65
    Domestic 5.21 5.47 -2.4% 5.07 5.31 5.40
    Imported 2.62 2.50 -0.6% 2.51 2.45 2.25
  Light Trucks 8.44 8.22 -2.4% 8.60 8.78 9.32
    Domestic 6.92 6.73 -3.2% 7.12 7.42 8.12
    Imported 1.52 1.49 1.8% 1.48 1.37 1.20
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