US car sales plummet, house prices fall again

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September was another difficult month for the cornerstones of US chemical demand, autos and housing:

GM cut prices dramatically via its ‘Employee discount for everyone’ programme. But even so, sales fell 16% versus last year (blue column)
Toyota (red column), fell 30%
Ford (green column) fell 34%
Chrysler (purple column) fell 33%

Auto sales were down 27% overall, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he didn’t expect any recovery before 2010. Chrysler’s President, Jim Press, added that ‘its hand-to-hand combat’ in the auto market at the moment.

Meanwhile house prices continued their ‘record decline’ according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, and are now down 17%. S&P noted that, by comnparison, the ‘record low was -6.3%’ during 1990-2.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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