2018 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales  
Released On 2/1/2018 For Jan, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Total Vehicle Sales17.9 M17.3 M16.9 M to 17.6 M17.2 M
Domestic Vehicle Sales14.0 M13.2 M13.1 M to 13.7 M13.3 M

Very strong vehicle sales in the last part of last year may have stolen sales out of this year. Unit auto sales fell sharply to a 17.2 million annualized rate in January vs 17.9 million in December for the slowest showing since August. It was in September that the rate, driven by hurricane-replacement demand, spiked to 18.6 million which was followed by strength through year end. Today's result is a very clear negative for January retail sales where auto sales make up 1/5 of the total report. Domestic-made sales fell to a 13.3 million January rate from December's 14.0 million.

Consensus Outlook
Vehicle sales accelerated in December to a solid 17.9 million annualized rate which, outside of hurricane-related spikes in October and September, was among the best results of the last 2 years. January's consensus is for easing strength at a median 17.3 million overall with sales of domestic-made vehicles expected to come in at 13.2 million.

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

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/32/13/14/35/16/17/38/19/510/211/112/4
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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