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Analysts: Auto sales are down but still high

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It’s one of the highlights from an overview of industry trends at the midpoint of the year provided by Cox Automotive analysts Wednesday in Detroit and one of several things to watch going forward.

Auto sales down but still high

Cox is projecting that sales of new vehicles in the first half of the year, at 8.4 million, will be down almost 2.3% compared with the same period last year. The full year forecast is for 17.1 million vehicles sold, a drop of 2.5% from 2016’s 17.5 million.

“We are moving into a ‘post peak’ period for the U.S. auto industry,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive, parent company of Kelley Blue Book, said in a release about the event.

But despite some “tailwinds,” the economy remains in good shape, Smoke said, meaning that the overall message is not bad.

“We believe this year will end as the fifth best year of all time,” Smoke said of new U.S. vehicle sales.

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