2013 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales  
Released On 9/4/2013 For Aug, 2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Total Vehicle Sales15.7 M15.8 M15.7 M to 16.1 M16.1 M
Domestic Vehicle Sales12.2 M12.3 M11.9 M to 12.6 M12.6 M

Vehicle sales rose a very solid 1.9 percent in August to a 16.1 million annual rate for the best showing of the recovery going back to November 2007. The rate is at the very top of the Econoday forecast range. Loan rates may not have been a factor in the month though the rise underway could have encouraged marginal buyers, those perhaps at risk of being pushed out of the new vehicle market, to go ahead and seal a deal in case rates move even higher.

August's gain is led by domestic light trucks but also includes a solid gain for import cars. North American-made vehicles came in at a 12.6 million annual rate for a 2.1 percent gain on the month. Foreign-made vehicles rose 0.8 percent to a 3.5 million annual rate. Today's data point squarely to a sizable monthly gain for motor vehicles in the retail sales report, a component that fell sharply in July after rising sharply in the three prior months.

Consensus Outlook
Sales of total light motor vehicles slipped in July, down 1.8 percent, but were at still a very strong annual rate of 15.7 million. Also, the July dip followed a strong 4.2 percent boost in June. July sales of imports were steady at a 3.4 million rate with the monthly softness on the domestic side at a 12.2 million rate versus June's 12.6 million. The softness on the domestic side was split evenly between cars and light trucks.

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 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
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