Forecast – US April Sales to Maintain Record Pace

More than 1,.5 million new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. during April for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 17.5 million. The projected sales will be a 4.8% decrease from March 2016, but a 4.3% increase from April 2015.

Sales during April 2016 are about to overtake the April record of 1,500,648 light vehicle sales set in 2005, and 2016 is on track to shatter last year’s full-year record of 17.5 million sales. Overall year-over-year total industry sales are projected to grow by 4.3%.

 “Even though Q1 ended with a relatively lackluster March the industry still as strong as ever, and this month’s sales will only reinforce that strength,” said Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell, the source of the forecast. “Considering that April is typically the calm before the storm of summer sales, there’s every reason to believe that 2016 will be a year for the history books.”

CBO anticipates that the U.S. economy will expand solidly this year and next. Increases in demand for goods and services are expected to reduce the quantity of underused labor and capital, or “slack,” in the economy—reducing the unemployment rate and pushing up compensation. That reduction in slack will also push up inflation and interest rates. Over the following years, CBO projects, output will grow at a more modest pace, constrained by relatively slow growth in the nation’s supply of labor. Nevertheless, in those later years, output is anticipated to grow more quickly than it has during the past decade.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.4 million vehicles in April, with fleet transactions accounting for 18.4% of total sales. An estimated 3.3 million used cars will be sold in April, for a SAAR of 38.2 million (compared to 3.6 million – or a SAAR of 37.1 million – used car sales in March).

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1 Response to Forecast – US April Sales to Maintain Record Pace

  1. Karen Dynan - U.S. Treasury says:

    Real GDP growth slowed in the first quarter to an annual rate of 0.5% from a 1.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2015. Residential investment growth remained brisk, but consumer spending growth moderated as purchases of motor vehicles fell back from near record-high levels at the end of 2015. In addition, business fixed investment posted a sizable decline, in part reflecting ongoing weakness in spending on structures because of cutbacks in drilling and mining in the wake of the earlier drop in crude oil prices. Net exports continued to drag on growth amid still-weak demand for U.S. exports, and inventory investment fell further as businesses continued to adjust their stocks in reaction to the unsustainably high levels of inventories reached early last year.

    (Karen Dynan is Assistant Secretary for the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association – editor)

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