The auto industry has been weak for a while, but it hit new depths in September according to yesterday’s monthly sales reports. By all accounts, the numbers will probably stay awful for a while. James Hamilton at EconBrowser runs through some of the numbers, but his final point about the conneciton between the auto industry and the GDP is the real gut socker:
Lost income from motor vehicles and parts subtracted 64 basis points from the 2008:Q2 GDP growth rate (quoted at an annual rate), and took another 80 basis points away from quarter 3 (see BEA Table 1.5.2). Today’s numbers suggest that the fourth quarter is going to be significantly worse.
Yeah, if October, November and December are all something like September, it’ll be much worse.
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