Car Sales Down–Consumers Dialing Back?

Car and light truck sales dropped sharply last month.  (Just back from vacation and finally looking at the data.)

There’s obviously a lot of volatility in the data, so don’t panic.  But this is definitely trending down.  Sounds like this could be the first real hint of housing market problems spilling over into consumer spending.  Could also be a lagged effect of first quarter weakness.

Either way, I’m dialing up my attention to consumer spending these days.

Business planning implications:  Companies selling discretionary products or services to consumers should watch their numbers carefully.  If you don’t have an early warning system set up already, it’s high time.  Check out Chapter 6 of Businomics.