September 1, 2016

Three’s a Charm: US Auto Sales Fell 4.1 Percent in August

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:32 pm

Thw Wall Street Journal’s rudown is here.

There is a silver lining, in that cars were down 12.6 percent but higher-priced and far more profitable trucks, which were 60 percent of the August market (up from 57 percent in August of last year), were up 2.5 percent. Although year-to-date sales are only up 0.6 percent, the revenue loss from the 8.4 decline in cars is far less than the revenue gain from the 8.1 percent increase in light truck sales.

But that silver lining isn’t present at General Motors or Ford, where both car (-5.2% and -8.8%, respectively) and truck (-9.4 and -1.7) sales fell. Obviously, GM dealers were hit much harder than Ford’s dealers on the revenue line. Year-to-date, Ford is still showing a 7.8 percent gain in trucks; GM is showing a 2.2 percent decline.

Every other major maker except VW, which has been declining across the board for over a year, and Mitsubishi, which probably shouldn’t be considered a major maker anyway, saw gains in truck sales.

Combine this with July’s continued flat construction spending and ISM’s August manufacturing survey moving into contraction, and all of a sudden there’s a great deal of pressure on the August employment report being released by Uncle Sam tomorrow to show a strong number.

And even if it’s strong, the fact remains that the workforce has become less productive over the past three quarters.

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