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Auto Market Weekly Summary

The auto industry is anxiously awaiting reports of March vehicle sales, which automakers will start reporting on Wednesday, April 1. Undoubtedly, vehicle sales, which started the month strong, have plummeted as COVID-19 spread across the country, prompting an increasing number of states to issue shelter-at-home orders that shut down dealership showrooms. As a preview, Cox … Continued

Used Market Achieved Liftoff Last Week

We have near real-time views of sales and prices, but a lagged view of tax refunds. The latest data reveal that the used-vehicle market achieved liftoff last week. Through Friday, February 28, tax returns filed with the IRS were up slightly (0.1%), but the number of refunds was down 1.9%. The average refund was also … Continued

Used Market Liftoff Likely Happening This Week

The IRS caught up with statistics on tax filings and refunds through Friday, February 21. As of then, tax returns filed with the IRS were down slightly (0.1%), but the number of refunds was down 2.9%. The average refund was also down (0.6%). We were a bit more than a third of the way through … Continued

Approaching Spring Used Market Lift Off

Tax refunds drive the demand that makes the spring season the most important season of the year for the used-vehicle market. This is week 9 of the year, which is when we expect to see a jump in used retail sales. Week 9 should correspond to when about half of tax refunds have been distributed … Continued

Auto Market Weekly Summary

Housing continues to support growth in the U.S. economy, and consumer credit continues to flow as the Federal Reserve suggests interest rates will remain stable. Housing strong: With mortgage rates again approaching all-time lows, demand for housing is high, but supply is tight. Existing homes are appreciating much more than normal, which encourages more new … Continued

Auto Market Weekly Summary

We continue to expect this year to be “not so bad” for the industry and especially for dealers as a modest decline in new retail sales will be offset by the gain in used retail sales. Consumer spending slowing: Consumer sentiment is stronger so far this year despite modestly higher prices and slowing real wage … Continued

Auto Market Weekly Summary

The year of wild cards continued last week, with the chaos and long delay for results in the first presidential election primary in Iowa. One wild card was taken off the table when the impeachment trial ended with an acquittal for President Trump on both charges. The coronavirus is still spreading, but the stock market has been … Continued

Auto Market Weekly Summary

The year of wild cards continued with a momentous Friday leaving us with mounting concerns about the coronavirus, stock market declines resulting in net declines for the year, Great Britain separating from the European Union, and the impeachment trial heading for a vote. It was also a week filled with new and important economic data. … Continued

Even as the Fed Keeps Interest Rates Parked, Many Consumers are Seeing Higher, Not Lower, Auto Loan Rates

The Federal Reserve officially left short-term rate policy unchanged, which was expected. The Fed is determined to leave monetary policy parked in the absence of clear evidence of a material change in the direction of the economy. Even though their policy statement acknowledged that they have downgraded their view of the pace of consumer spending growth, … Continued

Auto Market Weekly Summary

We are three full weeks into 2020, the year of wild cards. Concern about Iran has now been replaced by the coronavirus spreading from China. While the impeachment trial continued here, the U.K. cleared the final legal hurdle for Brexit to happen Friday, and, while in Davos, President Trump threatened the EU with tariffs on autos … Continued