August turned out to be a huge month for auto sales.
The annualized pace of sales jumped to 17.45 million from 16.4 million in July. This was well ahead of the 16.6 million expected.
“The 103-month high was set as rising automaker incentives intersected with a strengthening economy and growing consumer confidence to boost deliveries well past 1.5 million units, for an industry wide 9.3% rise in daily sales,” said WardsAuto via Calculated Risk.
Chrysler sales jumped 20% in August, beating expectations for just 12.0% growth.
Ford sales unexpectedly climbed by 0.4%, which was notably better than the 1.2% decline expected.
GM, however, saw sales fall 1.2%. Analysts were expecting a modest 0.1% decline.
“The data have been volatile, but auto sales appear to be on a higher track, supported by easing credit conditions and rising consumer confidence and financial health,” said Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists ahead of the announcements. “Pent-up vehicle demand is also supporting sales, and we expect to see a decent gain in August after a pause in July.”
Here’s a tally of some of the announcements: