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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Strengthen Further
by Tom Moeller  July 2, 2013

Auto dealer showrooms were bustling last month.Unit sales of light motor vehicles recovered 4.2% during June versus May to 15.96 million (SAAR), up 11.0% y/y, according to the Autodata Corporation. Setting a recovery high, sales were at the highest level since December 2007. Consensus projections were for 15.6 million sales according to Bloomberg.

Auto sales increased 7.1% m/m (9.7% y/y) to 7.95 million last month. Domestic car sales gained 8.4% to 5.71 million (11.9% y/y) while sales of imports rose 4.0% (4.6% y/y) to 2.24 million. Light truck sales inched up 1.5% (12.3% y/y) in June to 8.01 million. Imported light truck sales gained 6.5% (21.7% y/y) to 1.17 million. This level was the highest since August 2009. Domestic light truck purchases ticked 0.7% higher month-to-month (10.8% y/y) to 6.84 million.  

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market increased to 21.4% in June. (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 fell m/m to 28.2% but remained down from its 37.8% monthly peak in 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market rose to 14.6% 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) Jun May Apr Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total 15.96 15.31 14.92 11.0 14.48 12.78 11.59
 Autos 7.95 7.42 7.18 9.7 7.43 6.23 5.77
  Domestic 5.71 5.26 5.11 11.9 5.10 4.21 3.76
  Imported 2.24 2.16 2.07 4.6 2.33 2.02 2.01
 Light Trucks 8.01 7.89 7.74 12.3 7.05 6.55 5.82
  Domestic 6.84 6.79 6.75 10.8 6.08 5.55 4.86
  Imported 1.17 1.10 0.99 21.7 0.97 1.00 0.96
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