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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Slip M/M; Move Sideways Since August
by Tom Moeller  February 3, 2015

Sales of light vehicles declined 1.5% during January to 16.66 million (AR) from 16.92 million in December. Despite a solid 8.9% y/y increase, sales have trended sideways since last summer.

Light truck sales have shown strength with the decline in gasoline prices, 44.2% since late-June. Light truck sales rose 7.4% during the last six months and 14.2% y/y. In January, sales increased 4.0% to 9.12 million. Domestic light truck sales rose 5.0% (14.8% y/y) to 8.07 million but imported truck sales declined 3.0% (+10.3% y/y) to 1.04 million.

Auto sales declined 5.7% to 7.54 million (+3.1% y/y) during the same six months and they're off 10.6% from the August peak. Domestic auto sales declined 7.0% last month (+6.6% y/y) to 5.47 million while imported car sales fell 8.8% to 2.07 million (-5.0% y/y).

Imports share of the market for light vehicles fell to 18.7% versus a high of 30.7% in February 2009. Imports share of the passenger car market fell to 27.5% from a high of 38.0% and imports share of the light truck market fell to 11.4% from a high of 23.8%.

U.S. vehicle sales figures are published by Autodata and can be found in Haver's USECON database.

General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2016 Revenue Proposals from the Department of the Treasury is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Jan Dec Nov Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total 16.66 16.92 17.20 8.9 16.49 15.58 14.48
 Autos 7.54 8.16 8.18 3.1 7.91 7.78 7.42
  Domestic 5.47 5.88 6.08 6.6 5.68 5.48 5.10
  Imported 2.07 2.27 2.10 -5.0 2.23 2.30 2.32
 Light Trucks 9.12 8.76 9.03 14.2 8.58 7.81 7.06
  Domestic 8.07 7.69 7.88 14.8 7.50 6.73 6.09
  Imported 1.04 1.08 1.14 10.3 1.08 1.08 0.97
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