2010 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales  
Released On 10/1/2010 For Sep, 2010
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Total Vehicle Sales8.3 M8.6 M8.5 M to 8.8 M8.6 M

Unit sales of North American made cars and light trucks came in at an 8.6 million annual rate in September, up from August's 8.3 million. The results point to a month-to-month gain for the auto dealers component of the retail sales report, a component that makes up 15 percent of total sales and which fell back a steep 2.4 percent in August. Consumers may not be in a good mood but, for those who have jobs, income is solid and so is demand for cars and trucks.

Consensus Outlook
Sales of domestic light motor vehicles slipped 3.8 percent August to an annualized 8.3 million from 8.7 million in July. Imports gained 8.8 percent to 3.1 million from 2.9 million in July. Net, consumers and fleet purchasing managers are still heading to the showrooms as total sales of domestics and imports of autos and light trucks for August came in at an annualized 11.5 million units, matching the July pace. If you want to be picky, it was 11.47 million in August, down 0.6 percent from 11.54 million in August. On the margin, sales are holding up. But without a doubt, the latest was sharply lower than the cash-for-clunkers jacked number of 14.2 million in August 2009.

Unit sales of motor vehicles include domestic sales and foreign sales, otherwise referred to as imports. Domestics are sales of autos produced in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Imports are U.S. sales of vehicles produced elsewhere. These are for light vehicles which include all passenger cars and light trucks up to 14,000 pounds gross weight (including minivans and sport utility vehicles). Individual manufacturers usually report sales on the first business day of the month. One of the first tabulators of the data is Autodata Corporation. Motor vehicle sales are good indicators of trends in consumer spending and often are considered a leading indicator at business cycle turning points. One should note that manufacturers do not break out vehicle sales to businesses, which are a smaller but still significant percentage of the monthly total.  Why Investors Care
Motor vehicles sales slowed notably in 2006 as a result of higher interest rates and a jump in gasoline prices but remained at reasonable levels due to strong income growth. Late in 2006 and in early 2007, gasoline prices were down from 2006 highs but moderating economic growth kept sales from rebounding. Truck shares hit their peak in 2005 when gasoline was cheap and remain sharply lower since gasoline prices spiked in 2006.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2010 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/52/23/24/15/36/27/18/39/110/111/312/1
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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