2017 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales  
Released On 3/1/2017 For Feb, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Total Vehicle Sales17.6 M17.7 M17.5 M to 17.9 M17.6 M
Domestic Vehicle Sales13.9 M14.0 M

Highlights
Unit vehicle sales were unchanged in February at a 17.6 million annualized rate and point to little change for the motor vehicle component of February's retail sales report. All readings held roughly at January's levels including sales of North American-made vehicles which did edge higher but only slightly to a 14.0 million rate from 13.9 million. Despite the lack of monthly acceleration, sales levels right now are very solid.

Recent History Of This Indicator
For the last three months, unit vehicle sales have accurately forecast swings in the motor vehicle component of the monthly retail sales report which on trend has been accelerating to mid-single digit annual growth. Forecasters see unit sales coming in at a very solid 17.7 million annualized rate in February vs January's 17.6 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
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/42/13/14/35/16/17/58/19/110/311/112/1
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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