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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Remain Firm
by Tom Moeller  August 1, 2013

Sales of light vehicles remain on a firm footing. Unit sales of light motor vehicles slipped 1.8% during July versus June to 15.67 million (SAAR) according to the Autodata Corporation. Despite the dip, sales remained up 11.2% from July of last year and were nearly their strongest since December 2007.

Auto sales dipped 1.0% m/m (+10.4% y/y) to 7.88 million last month. Domestic car sales fell 2.1% to 5.59 million (+11.6% y/y) but sales of imports rose 1.9% (7.7% y/y) to 2.29 million. Light truck sales declined 2.7% (+12.1% y/y) in July to 7.79 million. Domestic light truck sales fell 2.9% (+10.3% y/y) to 6.64 million. Sales of imported light trucks fell 1.3% month-to-month (+23.1% y/y) to 1.15 million.  

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market improved slightly to 21.9% in July. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) That share remained 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 recovered m/m to 29.0% but remained down from its 37.8% monthly peak in 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market was fairly stable at 14.8% last month but remained down from its 23.9% peak in early 2009.

Economy to cruise at speed limit in 2013 and accelerate slightly in 2014 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago can be found here.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total 15.67 15.96 15.31 11.2 14.48 12.78 11.59
 Autos 7.88 7.95 7.42 10.4 7.43 6.23 5.77
  Domestic 5.59 5.71 5.26 11.6 5.10 4.21 3.76
  Imported 2.29 2.24 2.16 7.7 2.33 2.02 2.01
 Light Trucks 7.79 8.01 7.89 12.1 7.05 6.55 5.82
  Domestic 6.64 6.84 6.79 10.3 6.08 5.55 4.86
  Imported 1.15 1.17 1.10 23.1 0.97 1.00 0.96
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