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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Move Slightly Higher During November
by Tom Moeller December 1, 2009

U.S. unit sales of  light vehicles during November showed that consumers' interest in making big-ticket purchases is recovering from the recession lows. Sales rose 4.5% m/m to 10.93M units according to the Autodata Corporation. November sales were stronger than Consensus expectations for 10.5M and sales have risen 19.2% from the February low. (Seasonal adjustment of the figures is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).

Sales of domestically made vehicles rose 5.4% last month to 8.17M units. They now have recovered 28.2% from the February low. Sales of fuel efficient cars rose 3.7% and have risen 27.9% from the low. Light truck sales increased 6.8% m/m and were 28.4% above the low. · Imported light vehicle sales rose a modest 1.9% to 2.76M but were up 9.7% from the recession low in April. Sales of imported autos inched up 0.6% m/m and 11.2% from the low while imported light truck sales rose 4.8% and 6.7% from the low.

Overall, import's share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell to 25.2% last month from 25.9% in October. It reached 26.5% during all of last year. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Imports' share of the U.S. car market totaled 33.2% versus 34.3% during all of last year while the share of the light truck market was 16.7%, down from 18.3% last year.

The U.S. vehicle sales figures can be found in Haver's USECON database.

The price of gasoline and the demand for fuel economy: evidence from monthly new vehicles sales data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) November October September Nov. Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Total 10.93 10.46 9.22 4.9% 13.17 16.16 16.54
  Autos 5.65 5.50 5.02 9.7 6.71 7.58 7.77
    Domestic 3.77 3.64 3.25 12.7 4.42 5.07 5.31
    Imported 1.88 1.87 1.77 4.2 2.29 2.52 2.45
  Light Trucks 5.28 4.96 4.20 0.2 6.47 8.60 8.78
    Domestic 4.40 4.12 3.37 2.6 5.29 7.10 7.42
    Imported 0.88 0.84 0.83 -10.3 1.18 1.47 1.37
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