Throughout Tuesday, major automakers will report their US sales numbers during July.
“July motor vehicle sales are of much greater relevance,” wrote Deutsche Bank Chief US Economist Joe LaVorgna, who’s expecting an “incremental” rise from June.
“If vehicle sales continue to moderate, it would provide early evidence that we have likely seen the peak in consumption growth for the cycle,” LaVorgna said in a preview.
Car sales have been used to gauge the strength of consumer spending because they’re a big-ticket item.
Economists forecast that sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.30 million in July, up from 16.61 million in June, according to Bloomberg.
Auto sales rose to a record 17.5 million in 2015 as cheap gas, easy credit conditions, and a robust labour market encouraged spending on cars and trucks.
If sales fall below the 17 million mark, it would look like the pace has plateaued, and could increase worries about the auto market.