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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rise Slightly M/M
by Tom Moeller   May 4, 2011

Unit sales of light vehicles recovered just 0.5% during April to 13.17M units (SAAR) after the 2.4% decline in March. The Consensus expectation was for sales of 13.0M, according to the Bloomberg survey. (Seasonal adjustment of these figures is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.) Despite the recent lackluster performance, sales improved 16.9% versus last year.

Sales of less fuel efficient light trucks rose 3.3% m/m to 6.34M. Domestic model sales led the gain with a 5.6% rebound to 5.38M while imports dropped 8.0% to 0.96M, the lowest level since July. Sales of autos fell 2.1% to 6.83M. Domestic sales slipped 1.0% to 4.73M and sales of imports fell 4.4% to 2.10M.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell to 23.3%. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Imports' share of the U.S. car market slipped to 30.8% versus the record 35.0% for all of 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market rose to 15.2% versus 19.7% in 2009.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 13.17 13.11 13.44 16.9% 11.58 10.38 13.22
 Autos 6.83 6.97 6.83 19.1 5.78 5.45 6.76
  Domestic 4.73 4.77 4.69 24.4 3.78 3.56 4.44
  Imported 2.10 2.20 2.14 10.5 2.02 1.89 2.32
 Light Trucks 6.34 6.14 6.61 14.7 5.80 4.93 6.46
  Domestic 5.38 5.10 5.51 15.4 4.84 3.96 5.28
  Imported 0.96 1.05 1.09 10.9 0.96 0.97 1.18
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