U.S. Car Sales Expected to Accelerate in June
The deteriorating European markets have led auto industry executives to worry about possible contagion spreading across the Atlantic, but June new-car sales in the United States are expected to hit a five-year peak for that particular month.
Auto sales, which offer an early snapshot of consumer demand, have been one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy for several months until May results came in short of expectations and raised concerns about the sector’s recovery.
Analysts and industry officials, however, said there are just too many old cars that need to be replaced, which will drive consumers into dealers’ showrooms. The average age of cars on the road is an all-time-high 11 years.
“The most interesting thing is the ongoing battle between pent-up demand and concern over financial issues,” said Karl Brauer, chief executive of research firm Total Car Score. “There is, by no means, clear sailing ahead on the financial issues, but people are getting really tired of driving their old cars.”
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters see the annual selling rate for new cars in the U.S. market in June finishing at 13.9 million vehicles. That would mark the second month in a row below the 14 million rate, but would exceed last month’s 13.7 million.
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