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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales' Uptrend Accelerates
by Tom Moeller   November 03, 2010

Unit sales of light vehicles jumped an unexpected 4.2% last month versus September. The rise to 12.26M units (SAAR) left monthly sales at the highest since September of 2008 except for the incentive-charged sales spurt in August of 2009. So far this year, monthly sales averaged 11.41M (AR), up 11.3% from last year's first ten months. October sales were stronger than Consensus expectations for 11.9M. (Seasonal adjustment of these figures is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).

Light truck sales surged 9.0% m/m led by 10.5% spurt in domestics to 5.43M following a 2.5% September increase. Sales of imported light trucks also increased 1.1% m/m to 0.97M after a 2.9% September decline. Auto sales slipped 0.5% to 5.85M after a 3.5% September increase as both domestics and imports fell by like amounts.

For the month, import's share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell m/m to 26.4%. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Strongest was imports' share of the U.S. car market; stable at a record 38.7%. That was above the 34.7% for all of 2009. Imports' share of the light truck market slipped m/m to 15.2% and remained below the 19.7% during all of last year.

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

The statement following today's FOMC meeting can be found here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Oct. Sept. Aug. Oct.
Y/Y%
2009 2008 2007
Total 12.26 11.76 11.47 17.5 10.38 13.22 16.16
 Autos 5.85 5.88 5.68 7.2 5.45 6.76 7.58
   Domestic 3.59 3.61 3.53 -0.7 3.56 4.44 5.06
   Imported 2.27 2.28 2.15 22.6 1.89 2.32 2.52
 Light Trucks 6.41 5.88 5.79 29.0 4.93 6.46 8.60
   Domestic 5.43 4.92 4.79 32.1 3.96 5.28 7.10
   Imported 0.97 0.96 0.99 14.0 0.96 1.18 1.47
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