Auto and Truck Sales Quite Strong

The US Department of Commerce / Bureau of Economic Analysis reported yesterday that about 1.6 million motor vehicles were purchased last month, compared to 1.42 million in April (+15.3%) and 1.47 million in May of 2013 (+11.3%).

This report continues a trend dating back to mid-2010:

There is obviously a lot of noise in the monthly data. To account for this, the BEA publishes the annual rate of sales, which is seasonally adjusted. Including these adjustments, we see that we are now purchasing vehicles at an annual rate just above 17 million per year:

That large spike in August of 2009 is the result of the cash-for-clunkers program.

Extending both back 30 years, we see even clearer economic trends (notably, the ascension of the Sport Utility Vehicle in the 2000s):