2008 U.S. Economic Calendar
                     POWERED BY  
Motor Vehicle Sales
Released on 8/1/08 For Jul 2008
Domestic Vehicle Sales
Consensus 9.950 M
Actual 9.1 M
2008 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/3 2/1 3/3 4/1 5/1 6/3 7/1 8/1 9/3 10/1 11/3 12/2
Released For: Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
Definition
Unit sales of domestically produced cars and light duty trucks (including sport utility vehicles and mini-vans). Individual manufacturers report usually report sales on the first business day of the month. Motor vehicle sales are good indicators of trends in consumer spending.
Why Do Investors Care?
Since motor vehicle sales are an important element of consumer spending, market players watch this closely to get a handle on the direction of the economy. The pattern of consumption spending is one of the foremost influences on stock and bond markets. Strong economic growth translates to healthy corporate profits and higher stock prices. The bond market focus is on whether economic growth goes overboard and leads to inflation. Ideally, the economy walks that fine line between strong growth and excessive (inflationary) growth. This balance was achieved through much of the nineties. For this reason alone, investors in the stock and bond markets enjoyed huge gains during the bull market of the 1990s.

Retail sales growth did slow down in tandem with the equity market in 2000 and 2001, although motor vehicle sales moderated to a lesser extent. A low interest rate environment through 2005 curtailed the decline in motor vehicle sales. Granted, since automakers offered many incentives to boost sales in the past several years, their profits have suffered.

In a more specific sense, auto and truck sales show market conditions for auto makers and the slew of auto-related companies. These figures can influence particular stock prices and provide insight to investment opportunities in this industry. Given that most consumers borrow money to buy cars or trucks, sales also reflect confidence in current and future economic conditions.