2016 Economic Calendar
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Motor Vehicle Sales  
Released On 1/5/2016 For Dec, 2015
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Total Vehicle Sales18.2 M18.1 M17.6 M to 18.3 M17.3 M
Domestic Vehicle Sales14.4 M14.2 M13.9 M to 14.4 M13.9 M

In an ominous indication for December retail sales, auto sales fell a sharp 5.0 percent to an annualized rate of 17.3 million. Car sales were the weakest, down 5.2 percent to a 7.40 million rate. Truck sales, benefiting from low gas prices, were very strong through most of 2015 but not so in December, falling 4.3 percent to a 9.93 million rate. Vehicle sales make up about 1/5 of total retail sales and the weakness here will make it hard for December to show any lift.

Unit sales of motor vehicles include domestic sales and foreign sales, otherwise referred to as imports. Domestics are sales of autos produced in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Imports are U.S. sales of vehicles produced elsewhere. These are for light vehicles which include all passenger cars and light trucks up to 14,000 pounds gross weight (including minivans and sport utility vehicles). Individual manufacturers usually report sales on the first business day of the month. One of the first tabulators of the data is Autodata Corporation. Motor vehicle sales are good indicators of trends in consumer spending and often are considered a leading indicator at business cycle turning points. One should note that manufacturers do not break out vehicle sales to businesses, which are a smaller but still significant percentage of the monthly total.  Why Investors Care
Motor vehicles sales slowed notably in 2008 and 2009 due to recession. Recovery boosted sales in 2010 and early 2011 before economic growth slowed. Truck shares hit their peak in 2005 when gasoline was cheap. Trucks have since oscillated sharply with spikes in gasoline in 2008 and 2010.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2016 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/52/23/14/15/36/17/18/29/110/311/112/1
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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