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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rise After Two-Months Of Decline
by Tom Moeller   August 2, 2011

Unit sales of light vehicles during July recovered some of the prior two months' weakness with a 5.8% increase to 12.23M units (SAAR). Sales had fallen 1.4% and 11.0% m/m during June and May, respectively. Figures were revised slightly with the benchmark NIPA revisions. (Seasonal adjustment of these figures is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.)

Sales of autos rose all of 1.5% m/m to 5.72M leaving sales 15.7% off the March peak. Sales of domestics rose 1.3% and remained 15.0% off the peak while sales of relatively fuel efficient imports rose 1.8%, down 19.6% from the peak back in September 2010.

Less fuel efficient light truck sales rose 9.8% m/m to 6.51M. Domestic model sales rose 11.2% to 5.56M and set a recovery high. Import light truck sales rose a lesser 2.1% to 0.95M, off 12.2% from the February high.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell to 22.3%, the lowest since early-2006. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Imports' share of the U.S. car market held m/m at 31.2% versus the record 34.7% for all of 2009. Imports' share of the light truck market fell to 14.5% 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) Jul Jun May Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 12.23 11.56 11.73 5.8% 11.58 10.38 13.22
 Autos 5.72 5.64 5.78 0.6 5.79 5.45 6.76
  Domestic 3.93 3.88 3.89 5.9 3.78 3.56 4.44
  Imported 1.79 1.75 1.89 -9.3 2.00 1.89 2.32
 Light Trucks 6.51 5.93 5.95 11.9 5.79 4.93 6.46
  Domestic 5.56 5.00 5.05 13.1 4.84 3.96 5.28
  Imported 0.95 0.93 0.90 -0.5 0.96 0.97 1.18
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