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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Weaken
by Tom Moeller  December 1, 2017

Total sales of light vehicles declined 3.4% during November (-1.3% y/y) to 17.48 million units (SAAR) from 18.09 million in October, according to the Autodata Corporation. Sales have fallen 5.9% from the September high.

Light truck sales declined 3.9% (+4.1 % y/y) to 11.08 million after a 2.0% October drop. Domestically-made light trucks fell 4.7% (+2.1% y/y) to 9.05 million units following a 2.1% decline. Imported  light truck sales eased 0.3% (+13.6% y/y) to 2.03 million units, remaining near the record high.

Trucks' share of the U.S. vehicle market was little-changed m/m at 63.4% in November, but was higher than 51.2% ten years earlier.

The passenger car market also weakened as sales fell 2.5% (-9.4% y/y) to 6.39 million units, the lowest level in three months. Domestically-produced passenger car sales were off 1.1% last month (-8.3% y/y) to 4.70 million units after a 4.1% decline. Sales of imported passenger cars dropped 6.0% (-12.3% y/y) to 1.70 million units on the heels of a 2.6% decline.

Imports share of the U.S. vehicle market held steady m/m at 21.3%, but was up from 19.9% during all of 2015. Imports share of the passenger car market fell to 26.5%, and recently has been little-changed. Imports share of the light truck market strengthened m/m to 18.4%, up from 12.7% in 2014.

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

What's Down with Inflation? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

Light Weight Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Million Units) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 17.48 18.09 18.57 -1.3 17.55 17.42 16.52
 Autos 6.39 6.56 6.81 -9.4 7.10 7.73 7.92
  Domestic 4.70 4.75 4.95 -8.3 5.20 5.63 5.68
  Imported 1.70 1.81 1.85 -12.3 1.90 2.10 2.24
 Light Trucks 11.08 11.53 11.76 4.1 10.44 9.74 8.60
  Domestic 9.05 9.49 9.69 2.1 8.75 8.37 7.51
  Imported 2.03 2.04 2.07 13.6 1.69 1.38 1.09
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