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Auto sales still booming

September vehicle sales blew past expectations (13.04M annualized rate vs. 12.6M expected), while registering a sizable 11.2% increase in the past year, and a 14.3% increase since last June's low. This, despite the Japanese tsumani earlier this year that caused extensive supply-chain disruptions and resulted in a huge drop in sales from February through June. Suffice it to say that auto sales do not conform at all to the current narrative about the economy being on the ropes.

September sales were 40% higher than the low registered in February 2009, which works out to a 13.8% annualized gain.

UPDATE: At the suggestion of Mark Perry, I put together this chart of light truck sales, which account for just over half of total vehicle sales. The recovery in light truck sales has been a good deal stronger than for total vehicle sales, and sales were disrupted far less this year, since domestic light trucks account for about 85% of total light truck sales (less tsunami impact). Since the low in April '09, light truck sales are up by an impressive 58%. Definitely no sign of a recession here!

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