Total vehicle sales increased 400,000 annualized units in September and monthly sales levels were up 16.1 percent year over year. NAFCU Economist Noah Yosif analyzed the data in a new Macro Data Flash report.
“These readings prove that inventory remains a saving grace for the market,” said Yosif. “The recent pickup in production has delivered sales growth by limiting price markups, supporting discounts, and allowing dealers to reach a greater range of prospective buyers across the income spectrum. While underlying production is strong, labor-related disruptions emanating from the recent UAW strikes may reassert downward pressure on vehicle inventories, which would likely be reflected via price appreciation and could, in-turn, have some impact on sales volumes.”
Auto sales rose 100,000 units and increased 12.6 percent year over year. Light truck sales also rose 300,000 units, increasing 17 percent year over year. Data on units produced – which lags a month behind sales data – showed domestic production accelerated 6 percent and inventory rose to 0.95 months of sales.
“Currently, the market is exhibiting continued strength despite an array of financial headwinds facing consumers, and NAFCU expects only a very modest drop in sales if production flags,” Yosif concluded.
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