NADA: Sales will reach 16.9 million in 2015

NADA: Sales will reach 16.9 million in 2015

March sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of just over 17 million, and NADA is forecasting just under 17 million sales for the year. That would represent a 3.1 percent increase from 2014. Economic conditions continued on the upswing, new models entering the marketplace and pent-up demand will drive sales, says NADA chief economist Steve Szakaly.

–We now expect first quarter GDP to grow by only 2.1 percent, hurt by the west coast port strike, weather setbacks and declining oil investments,” he said. –Car sales will continue to outpace overall economic growth.”

Szakaly flagged some key indicators that sales will continue to grow this year:

« GDP will increase by 2.9 percent.

« A strong U.S. dollar and downward pressure on commodity prices will keep inflation well below the Fedês official target of 2 percent.

« Strong employment growth is expected to lead to a rise in wages. (Szakaly offered his forecast before March employment figures showed anemic job growth.)

–Wage and income growth will be critical to maintaining the momentum both for the U.S. economy and for motor vehicle sales for the rest of 2015 and on into 2016,” Szakaly said.

He expects low oil prices to continue, a trend that should not only boost SUV and light truck sales but help limit inflation. Szakaly now expects the Fed to keep interest rates low until September.

Szakaly expects light truck share for the year to reach 56 percent, up from 54 percent in 2014.

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