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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales in January Lowest in Over Two Years
by Tom Moeller February 4, 2008

U.S. sales of light vehicles in January fell 6.3% m/m to a 15.24M unit annual selling rate, according to the Autodata Corporation. That rate of sales was the lowest since October of 2005. After two years when sales fell 2.2% in 2007 and 2.5% in 2006, sales started 2008 5.8% below the 2007 average.

Sales of domestically made light vehicles fell 3.8% last month after a 0.6% dip in December. Sales of U.S. made cars dropped 3.8% after the 4.8% December decline. Sales of domestically made cars also dropped 3.8% after a 4.8% m/m December decline while sales of domestically made light trucks also fell 3.8%. That gave back all of a 2.9% December gain.

Sales of imported light vehicles plunged 13.6% to 3.57M units, the lowest since early 2006. Sales of imported autos were off 15.4% m/m while sales of imported light trucks dropped 10.6%.

Import's share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell back to 23.5% from a record 24.6% for of last year.

Economy in Slower Traffic Through 2008 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) January  December Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total 15.24 16.27 -8.5% 16.18 16.55 16.96
  Autos 7.22 7.82 -5.7% 7.58 7.77 7.65
    Domestic 5.01 5.21 -2.2% 5.07 5.31 5.40
    Imported 2.21 2.62 -12.9% 2.51 2.45 2.25
  Light Trucks 8.02 8.44 -10.8% 8.60 8.78 9.32
    Domestic 6.66 6.92 -10.4% 7.12 7.42 8.12
    Imported 1.36 1.52 -12.5% 1.48 1.37 1.20
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