Monday, December 3, 2012

US Auto Sales

US auto sales continue to rise in recent months, which is causing a fair amount of excitement about the possibility of a hot auto market.  High ticket items like cars can be big contributors to GDP, so from an economic standpoint the data is very encouraging.

Still, from a historical standpoint, auto sales remain relatively weak.  If 15m vehicles were sold (annualized) in November, the rate is still below the average rate during the mid 2000's when there were closer to 17m cars sold per year.  

On a per capita basis, the number looks even more depressed.  As of October we were selling 0.047 cars per person per year in the US (~1 car for every 21 people).  Outside of this recession, you'd have to go back to the lowest point of the 1991 recession to find a similar per capita rate.

US Auto Sales

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