Concerns that sales of new cars and trucks could slow down during the second half of the year appear to be unfounded, at least for August.
U.S. consumers are on track to buy 1.3 million vehicles in August, or 16% more than a year ago, according to forecasting firm LMC Automotive and data from J.D. Power and Associates. That would translate to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 14.5 million, which would be the strongest pace for any month this year.
"August continues this summer's trend of healthy growth in retail sales as dealers work to sell down inventory in time to make room for 2013 models," John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations for J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement.
Pent-up-demand among consumers that deferred purchases over the last several years and easier access to credit is prompting consumers to buy vehicles despite a national economy that continues to recover slowly.
"The strength in August light-vehicle sales takes some of the pressure off expectations for the balance of the year, but a high level of risk lingers," Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive, said in a statement.
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