Auto Sales Flat in August

Auto sales were relatively flat in August, declining slightly from the previous month as Hurricane Irene kept shoppers away from showrooms along the East Coast at the end of the month.

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Domestic light motor vehicles — which include all passenger cars and light trucks up to 14,000 pounds gross weight — sold at an annual rate of 9.4 million in August, compared to 9.5 million in July.

Imports were also flat in August, coming in at a 2.7 million annual rate, the same as the two previous months. Combined domestic vehicles — those produced in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico — and imports sold at an annual rate of 12.1 million units, after coming in at 12.2 million in July and 11.6 million in June.

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Motor vehicle sales are considered good indicators of consumer spending trends, and are used as a leading indicator at business cycle turning points.