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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Improve Further
by Tom Moeller  January 05, 2011

Unit sales of light vehicles increased 2.3% last month versus November to 12.55M units (SAAR). Sales were slightly stronger than expectations for 12.3M. (Seasonal adjustment of these figures is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.) For the full year, 2010 sales rose 11.5% to 11.58M, a gain that made up less than half of the decline during 2009.

Auto sales were firm last month posting a 3.8% m/m rise to 6.11M and a 5.9% yearly increase to 5.78M. A 7.6% monthly increase in domestics pulled them up 5.5% for the year. Imported auto sales, however, slipped for the third consecutive month. However, they increased 6.7% for the full year. Light truck sales rose 1.0% to 6.44M to pull them up 17.8% to 5.80M for the year. Sales of domestics rose 2.0% m/m and 22.3% for the full year while sales of imported light trucks declined 3.9% m/m and 0.9% for all of 2010.

For the month, import's share of the U.S. light vehicle market slipped m/m to 24.9% and to 25.7% for the year. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Imports' share of the U.S. car market fell to 34.4% for December but rose slightly to a record 35.0% for all of 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market fell m/m to16.0%. It remained below the 16.5% during all of last year and the record 19.7% in 2009.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Dec Nov Oct Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 12.55 12.26 12.26 12.6% 11.58 10.38 13.22
 Autos 6.11 5.89 5.85 2.8 5.78 5.45 6.76
   Domestic 4.01 3.72 3.59 -1.3 3.78 3.56 4.44
   Imported 2.10 2.16 2.27 11.7 2.02 1.89 2.32
 Light Trucks 6.44 6.37 6.41 23.8 5.80 4.93 6.46
   Domestic 5.41 5.30 5.43 26.3 4.84 3.96 5.28
   Imported 1.03 1.07 0.97 12.0 0.96 0.97 1.18
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