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BETHESDA, Md. — The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association recently released some preliminary data from its annual Aftermarket Factbook. Among some of the findings was a jump expected this year in U.S. motor vehicle aftermarket sales. How big is the jump? 3.8 percent.

Association analysts attributed the increase partly to anticipated pent-up demand for vehicle maintenance and repair by consumers from 2009. That's when for the first time in more than a decade the Channel Forecast Model which monitors sales in this sector slipped by 2.4 percent.

While the full report is expected to be released in May, AAIA mentioned several other economic points associated with the industry:

—Nominal GDP growth should average over 4.5 percent annually from 2010 through 2012.

—Unemployment will peak in third quarter of this year at 10.0 percent, but decline steadily to 7.9 percent by the fourth quarter of 2012.

—Dramatic increases in savings rate seen in 2009 and 2010 will ease as consumers show growth in consumer spending after a decline last year.

—A rebound in the housing market and consumer wealth will further encourage consumer spending.

—Miles driven are expected to increase as the unemployment rate declines.

—Increasing energy costs are helping to constrain disposable income growth.

—Light vehicle sales should approach pre-recession levels of near 16 million units by 2012.

—2008 through 2010 total vehicle sales of 35 million is 30 percent less than recent pre-recession historical three-year averages, reducing the number of vehicles entering traditional prime repair ages.

"According to the Channel Forecast Model, the rebound in macroeconomic conditions in the U.S. that began in 2009 is expected to continue and accelerate in 2010 and 2011," explained Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and chief executive officer.

"Most major economic indicators have already begun to move in a positive direction or will begin to trend that way during the year," Schmatz added.