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.