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STAMFORD, Conn. — Reflecting similar patterns of other wholesale price indicators, the RVI Used Car Price Index increased by another 3 percent in March.

RVI Group analysts indicated that the March level also was 20.3 percent higher than the previous-year figure.

Fueling the most recent gain were in sports cars, full-size sedans and luxury midsize sedans. Analysts found that sports cars had the highest month-to-month increase at 8.3 percent. Full-size sedans had the third-highest jump of all segments at 4.2 percent.

Also pushing the index higher was a gain by midsize SUVs of 5.6 percent.

A total of 10 vehicle segments had increases ranging from 2.7 to 3.5 percent in the RVI Group's latest analysis. Just one segment — small pickups — remained flat on a month-to-month comparison.

Looking at segment changes on a year-over-year view, the firm found that full-size vans have jumped the most at 33.5 percent. Other segments with increases of at least 20 percent since March 2009 included sub-compact cars, full-size SUVs, full-size pickups, small sedans, minivans, and small, midsize and luxury SUVs.

The latest RVI Group report also touched on discussion about the March unemployment rate, which remained unchanged at 9.7 percent nationwide.

"In the opinion of economists, and RVI as well, the worst is over in the labor markets," firm analysts shared.

"After peaking in October of 2009, the unemployment rate has declined, or at least remained flat, for the following four months," they continued.

"The 9.7-percent unemployment rate is hardly a bragging point, but the fact that it has remained at this level for the past three months is a positive indicator that the economy is headed for improvement," they concluded.