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Auto sales point to ongoing economic recovery

Total auto sales in September were about 2% stronger than expected. Abstracting from the disruption in the data caused by the ridiculous "cash for clunkers" program last year, and the typical month-to-month volatility in this series, auto sales are up at a 16% annual rate from their Feb. '09 low. That's a pretty impressive rebound. The level of sales is of course still dismally low, but the change on the margin is quite positive. This is fully consistent with an economy that is recovering. With employment, incomes, and confidence rising, I see no reason why this can't continue for the foreseeable future.

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