May 3, 2023

Unit car and truck sales rose 7.2% in April to a 15.9 million pace after having declined 0.5% in March and falling 6.5% in February.  Vehicle sales.t seem to be gradually inching upwards after touching bottom in May of last year  It appears that the supply challenges that had curtailed car sales for more than two years have ended.  The supplier delivery component of the purchasing managers’ index actually fell below the 50.0 level for the first time in October of last year meaning that manufacturers were actually seeing faster deliveries.  Indeed, that was the lowest reading for this series since 2009.  An increase in new car sales of this magnitude should lead to a sizable increase in retail sales for April of 1.0-1.5%.

We expect GDP growth of the second quarter of this year and continuing at a 1.3% pace in 2023..  Steady gains in employment, higher wages, and still negative real interest rates through midyear should keep the economy going for a while longer.

Stephen Slifer


Charleston, SC