US auto sales rose less than forecast in June, extending a soft patch that's characterized this year.
Sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.51 million, CNBC reported. Sales fell 13.2% year-on-year, Autodata said.
Economists had forecast that total vehicle sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.58 million, according to Bloomberg.
Auto sales have slowed every month this year following seven straight years of record-setting volumes. And this suggests that the market has plateaued for now.
GM, the second-largest US carmaker by market cap, hinted at that last week when it cut its outlook for new vehicle sales. The carmaker said US sales would be at the "low 17 million" unit level, reflecting a widespread expectation that the industry's growth would ease.
Among the so-called Big Three, which include Fiat Chrysler and Ford, GM was the only carmaker that reported weaker-than-expected sales in June.
A bigger question is whether the slowdown in car sales suggests a problem with consumer spending. "Consumer fundamentals have remained healthy, coupled with strong job gains and steady income growth," said Lewis Alexander, the US chief economist at Nomura, in a note. "However, it is likely that tighter auto loan standards will continue to weigh on auto sales in the coming months."
Here are the sales numbers:
- Toyota: +2.1% (1.2% expected)
- Nissan: +2% (-2% expected)
- Ford: -5% (-6% expected)
- Mazda North America: -14.7%
- GM: -4.7% (-3.4% expected)
- Fiat Chrysler: -7.4% (-7.9% expected)
- Subaru of America: +11.7%
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