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STAMFORD, Conn. — January wholesale prices climbed double digits from the rather soft year-ago levels and "inched up" from the prior month, according to the latest analysis from RVI Group.

The company indicated that the modest month-over-month incline was due mostly to gains in the full-size pickup, SUV and van segments.

Specifically, the RVI Used Car Price Index moved ahead 21.3 percent from January 2009, and was up 0.7 percent from December.

Showing the greatest strength from the previous month were full-size SUVs (up 4.8 percent), full-size pickups (up 4.8 percent) and full-size vans (up 4.7 percent).

Meanwhile, small sedans (up 3.3 percent), luxury full-size sedans (up 2.7 percent) and luxury small sedans led the car segments, analysts pointed out.

Interestingly enough, RVI officials noted that automakers' response to slower demand has resulted in new-vehicle price strength, which in turn, has helped boost used prices.

"For the first time in recent history, manufacturers have, whether by self correction or forced by the government, reacted the right way when faced by lower vehicle demand," analysts shared.

"And that is, manufacturers have actually cut production capacity to meet consumer demand," they added. "Unlike prior economic downturns when manufacturers reacted to lower demand by increasing incentives and/or lowering new-vehicle prices."

Thanks to cuts in production, incentives have decreased and transaction prices have increased, RVI explained.

During December, new-car transaction prices (seasonally adjusted) were up 5.1 percent year-over-year and off marginally (0.3 percent) from the previous month.