2013 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales
Released On 5/1/2013 For Apr, 2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Domestic Vehicle Sales12.1 M12.0 M11.9 M to 12.2 M11.9 M
Total Vehicle Sales15.3 M15.3 M15.2 M to 15.5 M14.9 M

Highlights
Vehicle sales slowed slightly in April to indicate monthly weakness for the motor vehicle component of April's retail sales report. Total sales came in at an annual rate of 14.9 million, down 2.2 percent from 15.3 million in March for the lowest rate since October. The rate for vehicles made in North America fell 1.7 percent in the month to an 11.9 million rate. The rate for imports fell 3.0 percent to a 3.1 million rate. Vehicle sales have been a little flat so far this year but contributed strongly to last year's consumer spending data. Vehicle sales make up 19 percent of total retail sales.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Sales of total light motor vehicles for March came in at a strong 15.3 million annual rate but showed no significant difference from 15.4 million in February. The sales pace has been above 15 million units for the last five months. Domestic sales came in unchanged at 12.1 million.

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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