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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Ease
by Tom Moeller  May 1, 2015

Sales of light vehicles declined 4.0% (+2.5% y/y) during April to 16.45 million units (AR) versus 17.15 million in March. The latest level remained in the range staked out since the middle of last year.

Auto sales decreased 4.4% last month to 7.36 million and were down 2.7% y/y. Imported car sales declined 8.8% to 2.06 million (-10.0% y/y) and were at the low end of the range in place since 2012. Domestic auto sales fell a lesser 2.6% to 5.31 million (+0.5% y/y), remaining near the low end of the range of the last year.

Light truck sales declined 3.8% (+7.1% y/y) to 9.09 million units. Domestic light truck sales decreased 4.6% to 7.86 million (+5.2% y/y). Imported truck sales, however, increased 2.1% to 1.23 million (+21.2% y/y), reaching the highest level since August 2009 when the "cash-for-clunkers" program fueled sales.

Imports share of the market for light vehicles slipped m/m to 20.0%, down versus a high of 30.7% in February 2009. Imports share of the passenger car market fell to 27.9% after jumping to 29.3% during March. Imports share of the light truck market rose sharply to 13.5%, the highest level since November 2013.

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

Expectations of a Pickup Remain Despite a Slow Start to 2015 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total 16.45 17.15 16.23 2.5 16.49 15.58 14.48
 Autos 7.36 7.70 7.23 -2.7 7.91 7.78 7.42
  Domestic 5.31 5.45 5.21 0.5 5.68 5.48 5.10
  Imported 2.06 2.26 2.02 -10.0 2.23 2.30 2.32
 Light Trucks 9.09 9.44 9.01 7.1 8.58 7.81 7.06
  Domestic 7.86 8.24 7.92 5.2 7.50 6.73 6.09
  Imported 1.23 1.20 1.09 21.2 1.08 1.08 0.97
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