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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rebound
by Tom Moeller  June 3, 2013

Unit sales of light motor vehicles recovered during May by 2.6% m/m (9.7% y/y) to 15.31M (SAAR), according to the Autodata Corporation. These sales compare to the recovery peak of 15.54M in November. Sales outperformed expectations for 15.1M, according to Bloomberg. 

Auto sales increased 3.4% m/m (6.8% y/y) to 7.42M last month. Domestic car sales gained 3.0% to 5.26M (11.6% y/y) while sales of imports rose 4.3% (-3.4% y/y) to 2.16M. Light truck sales inched up 1.9% (12.6% y/y) in May to 7.89M. Imported light truck sales gained 10.2% (10.0% y/y) to 1.10M while domestic light truck purchases ticked up 0.6% m/m (13.1% y/y) to 6.79M.  

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market increased to 21.3% in May. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) That share was down from its peak of 29.9% in Q1'09. The lower foreign exchange value of the dollar played a role as it made imports relatively more expensive. Imports' share of the U.S. car market gained m/m to 29.1% but remained down from its 37.8% monthly peak in 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market nudged up to 13.9% last month but remained down from its 23.9% peak in early '09. The U.S. vehicle sales figures can be found in Haver's USECON database.  

 

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total 15.31 14.92 15.27 9.7 14.48 12.78 11.59
 Autos 7.42 7.18 7.49 6.8 7.43 6.23 5.77
  Domestic 5.26 5.11 5.34 11.6 5.10 4.21 3.76
  Imported 2.16 2.07 2.15 -3.4 2.33 2.02 2.01
 Light Trucks 7.89 7.74 7.78 12.6 7.05 6.55 5.82
  Domestic 6.79 6.75 6.74 13.1 6.08 5.55 4.86
  Imported 1.10 0.99 1.03 10.0 0.97 1.00 0.96
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