Crawling Forward

Another month of weakly improving auto sales.

Data source: Wardsauto.com

February marked the third month in a row that U.S. light vehicle sales exceeded their levels from the year before. But a year ago things were awful, and the improvements have yet to gain much steam. On a seasonally adjusted basis, we’re not making any progress from December.

Source: Calculated Risk

These overall trends hide big differences across individual firms, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that February sales for Ford were up 43% over the previous year, while those for Toyota were down 8.7%. Perhaps the woes of Toyota were a factor depressing the February total, and perhaps weather also played a role.

Whatever the explanation, auto sales so far this year remain 40% below the average seen for January and February over 2005 to 2008.

Crawling forward

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About James D. Hamilton 244 Articles

James D. Hamilton is Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego.

Visit: Econbrowser

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