2013 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales
Released On 1/3/2013 For Dec, 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Domestic Vehicle Sales12.0 M11.7 M11.6 M to 11.8 M12.0 M
Total Vehicle Sales15.5 M15.1 M14.8 M to 16.3 M15.4 M

Highlights
Motor vehicle sales for domestics and imports held strong in December at an annualized 15.4 million units versus 15.5 million units in November. Sales were helped in part by replacement needs from damage from Hurricane Sandy. Domestics posted at 12.0 million units-matching the November pace. Nevertheless, for total new vehicle sales December does fall short of November which points to weakness for the motor vehicle component of the monthly retail sales report.

Market Consensus before announcement
Sales of total light motor vehicles in November surged a monthly 8.7 percent to a 15.4 million annual rate. Replacement demand tied to Hurricane Sandy boosted sales as did incentives during the month. Sales were led by imports, up 11.2 percent, versus domestics, up 8.0 percent. Sales of imported trucks were up a sharp 15.9 percent, likely reflecting demand due to Sandy.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
Motor vehicles sales slowed notably in 2008 and 2009 due to recession. Recovery boosted sales in 2010 and early 2011 before economic growth slowed. Truck shares hit their peak in 2005 when gasoline was cheap. Trucks have since oscillated sharply with spikes in gasoline in 2008 and 2010.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 

 

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/32/13/14/25/16/37/28/19/410/111/112/3
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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