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New vehicle sales show improving consumer sentiment

New vehicle sales show improving consumer sentiment

Posted on: 8/16/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Like housing starts, vehicle sales are another great measure of consumer confidence. If people are uncertain about the future state of the economy or are without financial capacity to buy things, they will put off major decisions like buying a house or purchasing a new vehicle. But, that’s not what we’re seeing. The latest statistics on new vehicle sales in Alberta show that consumer sentiment is on the rise.

In June, Albertans bought 24,183 vehicles, that’s about 14 per cent higher than June of last year and from 2015. Even better news is that over the first six months of the year, sales have been higher than the 12 months previous suggesting that consumer confidence in the province is improving.

In terms of the proportion of vehicles sold, the number of trucks continued to outnumber the amount of cars sold in the province. In June, approximately four out five new vehicles sold was a truck. This ratio has been consistent since 2011. The number of trucks sold held flat in June from May, reaching 19,391. Sales of cars were also flat that month with 4,792 cars driving off sales lots.

An improving economy, better job prospects and cheaper credit has likely enticed more Albertans to replace their vehicle. Come autumn, we could see another improvement in the number of vehicles sold. That’s because attractive pricing and sales events will likely encourage more Albertans to check out what the dealerships have available.

New vehicle sales, graph

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