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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Give Back the August Surge
by Tom Moeller  October 1, 2014

According to the Autodata Corporation, September sales of light vehicles fell back to 16.43 million units (SAAR) from 17.53 million in August. The decline retraced most of the August jump to the 2006 high, and left unit sales up 5.8% since December.

Auto sales in September declined 8.2% (-0.3% y/y) to 7.74 million units, the lowest level since April. Sales of domestically-produced autos fell 9.2% (+3.8% y/y) to 5.63 million while sales of imports dropped 5.6% (-9.8% y/y) to 2.12 million.

Light truck sales fell 4.5% (+13.6% y/y) to 8.69 million units. Nevertheless, they remained just off September's expansion high. Sales of domestically-produced light trucks were off 4.5% (+15.0% y/y) to 7.54 million and imported light truck sales fell 4.6% (+4.9% y/y) to 1.15 million.

The import share of light vehicle sales was little changed at 19.9%, nearly its lowest reading since 2006. The import share of auto sales improved to 27.4%, down from 34.8% during all of 2010, while the import share of light trucks was roughly steady at 13.2%, about where it was two years ago.

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

Managing Risk in the Recovery from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 16.43 17.53 16.48 6.6 15.56 14.49 12.78
 Autos 7.74 8.44 8.00 -0.3 7.77 7.42 6.23
  Domestic 5.63 6.19 5.78 3.8 5.47 5.10 4.21
  Imported 2.12 2.24 2.21 -9.8 2.29 2.32 2.02
 Light Trucks 8.69 9.10 8.49 13.6 7.79 7.08 6.55
  Domestic 7.54 7.89 7.38 15.0 6.71 6.10 5.55
  Imported 1.15 1.21 1.10 4.9 1.08 0.97 1.00
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