May Vehicles Sales decreased to 16.99 Million SAAR

The BEA released their estimate of light vehicle sales for May this morning. The BEA estimates sales of 16.99 million SAAR in May 2021 (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), down 9.5% from the April sales rate, and up 40% from May 2020. 

This was below the consensus estimate of 18.0 million SAAR.

Vehicle SalesClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows light vehicle sales since 2006 from the BEA (blue) and the BEA’s estimate for May (red).

The impact of COVID-19 was significant, and April 2020 was the worst month.

Since April 2020, sales have increased, and are now close to sales in 2019 (the year before the pandemic).   

Sales-to-date are up 1.5% compared to the same period in 2019.

The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.

Vehicle SalesNote: dashed line is current estimated sales rate of 16.99 million SAAR.

Sales in May were likely impacted by supply issues.