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US auto sales start to bottom

Economic growth, Financial Events
By Paul Hodges on 04-Apr-2009

The blog may be over-optimistic, but as with US house markets, it is hopeful that US auto market may have hit at least a temporary bottom. Spring should be a good period for sales, and March saw auto volumes down 37% versus 2008. This was a relatively good performance after February’s 41% decline, but still remained under the 10 million/year level.

Housing and autos are leading indicators for the economy, whilst unemployment is a lagging indicator. Firms usually only fire people after sales have declined, not before. Sadly, it is therefore not surprising that the US economy lost 663,000 jobs in March. 5 million jobs have now been lost due to the recession.

Hopefully the US economy will not get much worse short-term. But it is hard to see it recovering quickly with so many people out of work, and many others worried about their job security.