27% Increase in Feb. Car Sales, Highest Since 1988
Led by huge year-over-year sales gains from GM (+46.4%) and Toyota (+41.8%), U.S. auto sales increased in February by 27.3% compared to the same month last year, which is the highest annual gain in 23 years for auto sales, since a 29.7% increase in January 1988 9see bottom chart). Except for the artificial increase in August 2009 due to "cash for clunkers," the 13.44 million units sold last month (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) was the best month for car sales since August 2008, two and-a-half years ago (see top chart). More evidence that the economic recovery is real, "has legs" (see Scott Grannis), and is being led by the manufacturing sector (see ISM report today), the "shining star" of the U.S. recovery.