Beige Book: Dealers Faring Well; Used-Car Strength Spotted


The Richmond and San Francisco regions were the only two Federal Reserve Districts said to have had “a bit slower paced” auto sales in the latest Beige Book report, but even these two districts are seeing hefty demand, according to the Fed, particularly on the used-car side.

This was just one of several favorable signs for dealers spotted in the report issued earlier this week, which noted widespread strength in cars sales throughout the country.

Specifically, the Fed noted that its New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Kansas City districts saw car sales climb in the most recent reporting period, while its Cleveland, Chicago and Dallas regions experienced “flat” markets.

And even though sales were “a bit slower paced in Richmond and San Francisco,” the Fed found that “vehicle demand in the latter two districts is still strong, especially for used cars.”

Though most of the analysis centered on new-vehicle sales, the latest Beige Book offered bits of insight on the used-car market throughout various pockets of the country.

For instance, the Fed found a modest uptick in used-vehicle sales in the Cleveland District when comparing July to June, and noted that Richmond saw
continued shortage of used supply, “putting upward pressure on prices and improving trade-in values.”

Officials also reported on used-vehicle activity in the St. Louis District. The Fed reported that 13 percent of responding dealers saw used-vehicle sales increase relative to new-car sales. Meanwhile, a third saw new sales climb against used.

Lastly, the Fed noted that in the San Francisco District, “Used vehicles have been in short supply, raising their trade-in values and helping to spur sales of new vehicles.”

The analysis comes just as several industry analysts were releasing their projections for August used-vehicle sales. CNW Research, which released its projections last week, is anticipating 3.89 million used sales for the month, while expects a shade less than 4 million.

Meanwhile, said on Thursday that there will likely be 3.1 million used sales this month.

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