US February sales expected to show 4-month annualized sales streak

Article by Anita Panait, on February 28, 2013

Analysts expect United States vehicles sales in February 2013 to indicate the fourth consecutive month of seasonally adjusted annualized sales of over 15 million vehicles for the first time since early 2008.  The average forecast of 41 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters see a 4-percent rise in US sales in February to an annualized rate of 15.1 million vehicles. The forecasts ranged between 14.9 million and 15.75 million vehicles on an annualized basis. Carmakers are expected to report their US sales for February 2013 this Friday, March 1. Monthly vehicles sales are an early indicator of the strength of consumer spending.

Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for Edmunds.com, remarked that car sales are persevering despite economic factors on people's minds like rising gas prices as well as the implementation of the payroll tax. She noted that pent-up demand and widespread access to credit are keeping up car sales momentum. American drivers are using cars that are on average 11 years old, the oldest fleet ever on U.S. roads.

A four-month roll of vehicles sales over 15 million on an annualized basis has not happened since a run of nearly 10 years that was broken in early 2008. Vehicle sales started to drop in 2008 and hit a 28-year low of 10.4 million units in 2009. The expected 4-percent sales growth for February would be smaller than the year-on-year increases. According to analysts, previous sales gains were outsized as they occurred in an earlier stage of the moderate recovery from the recession. A private sector report showed Tuesday that consumer confidence picked up stronger than expected in February 2013 as consumers disregarded worries over payroll tax increase this year.

Topics: united states, sales

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