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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Reach New High
by Tom Moeller  November 1, 2016

Total sales of light vehicles during October increased 3.0% (0.6% y/y) to 18.29 million units (SAAR) according to Autodata, and added to September's 4.5% gain. The latest level was the strongest since July 2005.

Pacing the increase was a 4.9% rise (7.4% y/y) in sales of light trucks to 11.02 million units after a 2.9% gain. Sales of imported light trucks increased 5.6% (10.3% y/y) to 1.76 million units following a 2.0% decline. Domestic light truck sales gained 4.7% (6.9% y/y) to 9.27 million units after a 3.8% rise. Truck sales increased m/m to 60.2% of the light vehicle market, up from 55.6% during all of last year.

Auto sales nudged 0.3% higher to 7.27 million units (-8.2% y/y) following a 6.9% jump. Imported car sales rose 0.8% (-6.8% y/y) to 1.96 million units, adding to September's 4.4% improvement. Domestic car sales gained 0.1% (-8.7% y/y) to 5.31 million units, following the prior month's 7.9% jump.

Imports share of the light vehicle market of 20.3% compared to 19.8% during all of last year. Imports share of the passenger car market of 27.0% compared to 27.1% during all of 2015. Imports share of the light truck market rose to 15.9% from 14.0% last year, though that was lower than the 17.5% peak in May.

U.S. vehicle sales figures are published by Autodata and can be found in Haver's USECON database.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 18.29 17.76 17.00 0.6 17.41 16.52 15.59
 Autos 7.27 7.24 6.78 -8.2 7.72 7.92 7.77
  Domestic 5.31 5.30 4.91 -8.7 5.63 5.68 5.48
  Imported 1.96 1.94 1.86 -6.8 2.09 2.24 2.30
 Light Trucks 11.02 10.51 10.22 7.4 9.69 8.60 7.82
  Domestic 9.27 8.85 8.52 6.9 8.33 7.51 6.74
  Imported 1.76 1.66 1.70 10.3 1.36 1.09 1.08
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