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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Ease
by Tom Moeller  September 5, 2018

Total sales of light vehicles of 16.72 million units (SAAR) in August (0.8% y/y) compared to 16.77 million in July according to the Autodata Corporation. The m/m slip left sales 8.0% below the 18.16 million unit high reached last September.

Passenger car sales fell 3.4% last month (-16.8% y/y) to 5.14 million units. Sales of domestically-made autos declined 4.0% (-15.5% y/y) to 3.77 million units. Sales of imported passenger cars fell 1.6% (-20.3% y/y) to 1.37 million units.

Sales of light trucks improved 1.1% (11.3% y/y) during August to 11.58 million units, down only slightly from the record high of 11.78 million reached in June. Domestic light truck sales improved 2.6% (9.3% y/y) to 9.37 million units. Sales of imported light trucks declined 4.5% (+20.8% y/y) to 2.21 million units.

Trucks' share of the U.S. vehicle market increased to a record 69.3% in August, up from 63.3% during all of last year and 48.8% during all of 2008.

Imports' share of the U.S. vehicle market eased to 21.4% last month. Imports' share of the passenger car market improved slightly to 26.6%. Imports share of the light truck market declined to 19.1%.

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

How to Extend the U.S. Expansion: A Suggestion from St. Louis Fed President & CEO James Bullard can be found here.

Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 16.72 16.77 17.24 0.8 17.23 17.55 17.48
 Autos 5.14 5.32 5.45 -16.8 6.33 7.10 7.73
  Domestic 3.77 3.93 3.95 -15.5 4.58 5.20 5.63
  Imported 1.37 1.39 1.51 -20.3 1.75 1.90 2.10
 Light Trucks 11.58 11.45 11.78 11.3 10.90 10.45 9.74
  Domestic 9.37 9.14 9.47 9.3 9.00 8.75 8.37
  Imported 2.21 2.32 2.31 20.8 1.90 1.69 1.38
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