More ‘Dollar’ Details in Autos

by Jeffrey P. Snider
Alhambra Partners

With auto sales coming in exceptionally weak in the retail sales report today and given the importance of the auto sector in an otherwise awful economy, it makes sense to go further in detail to try to tease out corroboration. The Bureau of Economic Analysis provides a wealth of supplementary data on motor vehicles that it uses to construct GDP. It gives us a breakdown across vehicle segments, as well as domestic vs. imports.

Since the dollar figures prominently in everything over the past two years, we should be able to find a couple of expected effects related to its “rise.” The first is any oil price follow-through, as consumers should have been further attracted via the advertised savings in gasoline.

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