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Heavy Truck Sales Up 6% Year-over-year


by Calculated Risk on 2/06/2023 01:12:00 PM

The BEA released their estimate of vehicle sales for January last week.

This graph shows heavy truck sales since 1967 using data from the BEA. The dashed line is the January 2023 seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR).

Heavy truck sales really collapsed during the great recession, falling to a low of 180 thousand SAAR in May 2009. Then heavy truck sales increased to a new all-time high of 570 thousand SAAR in April 2019.

Click on graph for larger image.

Note: “Heavy trucks – trucks more than 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.”

Heavy truck sales declined sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, falling to a low of 308 thousand SAAR in May 2020.

Heavy truck sales were at 466 thousand SAAR in January, down from 501 thousand in December, and up 6.4% from 438 thousand SAAR in January 2022.
Usually, heavy truck sales decline sharply prior to a recession. Sales were solid in January.

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