2017 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales  
Released On 10/3/2017 For Sep, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Total Vehicle Sales16.1 M16.7 M15.0 M to 17.5 M18.6 M
Domestic Vehicle Sales12.7 M12.6 M12.5 M to 13.6 M14.7 M

Highlights
In the strongest monthly sales performance in 12 years, unit vehicle sales shot up to a hurricane-fueled 18.6 million annualized rate in September vs a hurricane-depressed 16.1 million rate in August. September's rate points squarely at replacement demand following Hurricane Harvey's flooding of Houston just as the weak August rate pointed to the initial negative effects of the hurricane. Today's results point to a substantial surge for the motor vehicle component of the retail sales report and a major boost for what was a weak overall report in August. Sales of domestic-made vehicles rose to 14.7 from August's 12.7 million.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Motor vehicle sales are coming off their worst showing in 3-1/2 years due to initial disruptions from Hurricane Harvey. The weakness in unit sales translated into weakness for dollar sales as tracked in the retail sales report where the vehicle component dropped sharply during August. Though Hurricane Irma's Florida hit is in play for September's numbers, forecasters see much better strength with the consensus for total unit vehicle sales at a 16.7 million annualized rate vs August's 16.1 million. Yet the low call for this reading, at 15.0 million, does reflect expectations for a major hurricane hit. Sales of domestic-made models are expected to come in at 12.6 million vs the prior month's 12.7 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: 1/42/13/14/35/26/17/38/19/110/311/112/1
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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