Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monthly Auto Sales: In the Wake of "Cash for Clunkers"

"Motor vehicle output added 1.66 percentage points to the third-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.19 percentage point to the second-quarter change."

Bureau of Economic Analysis 10/29/09

Autodata's U.S. Light Vehicle Retail Sales report for October was released today:

Actual sales: 838,052 units

Seasonally adjusted annual rate: 10.46 million units

This compares to a third quarter monthly average of 11.52 million units. What will the fourth-quarter GDP report look like with the end of the CARS incentive program? Great question. An even better question is what was the true cost to the taxpayer?

On 10/28/09, Edmunds.com released their analysis of the program: each incremental auto sale cost the taxpayer $24,000. The average transaction price per vehicle (including cash rebates) was $25,248. The White House issued a rebuttal the following day and Edmunds.com stood by their findings.

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