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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Decline Modestly
by Tom Moeller  May 1, 2014

According to the Autodata Corporation, unit sales of light vehicle sales during April were off 2.2% (+5.6% y/y) to 16.04 million (SAAR). That gave back just a piece of the 6.9% March rise, so sales remained near the highest level of the economic expansion.

Auto purchases fell 2.6% (+1.5% y/y) to 7.55 million and remained down from November's high of 8.14 million. Sales of domestic autos declined 2.8% (+0.1% y/y) to 5.33 million. Sales of imports were off 2.2% (+5.0% y/y) to 2.22 million.

Sales of light trucks declined 1.8% m/m (+9.5% y/y) to 8.49 million, leaving them at the highest level since October 2007. Imported light truck sales led the way lower with a 9.4% drop (-1.4% y/y) to 0.99 million. Sales of domestic light truck sales slipped 0.7% (+11.1% y/y) to 7.51 million.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market slipped to 20.0% last month. By vehicle type, imports' share of the U.S. car market was roughly steady at 29.4%. Imports' share of the light truck market fell to 11.6%, the lowest since 2005.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 16.04 16.40 15.34 5.6 15.55 14.49 12.78
 Autos 7.55 7.75 7.34 1.5 7.77 7.42 6.23
  Domestic 5.33 5.48 5.19 0.1 5.47 5.10 4.21
  Imported 2.22 2.27 2.15 5.0 2.29 2.32 2.02
 Light Trucks 8.49 8.65 8.00 9.5 7.79 7.08 6.55
  Domestic 7.51 7.56 6.99 11.1 6.71 6.10 5.55
  Imported 0.99 1.09 1.01 -1.4 1.08 0.97 1.00
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