From Reuters By Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman:
Even as dealers sold out of some of the hottest models, U.S. auto sales raced past expectations in August, rising at their fastest pace in nearly six years, while demand showed no signs of cooling as consumers grew more confident in the economy.
Vehicle sales increased 17 percent in August, and the annual sales rate in the month finished at 16.1 million vehicles. That sales pace topped analysts’ expectations of 15.8 million and marked the strongest month since October 2007, before the start of the 2008-2009 recession.
That said, the unexpected strength of August auto sales provides more evidence that the broader U.S. economy is gathering momentum coming out of the first half, when gross domestic product grew by a tepid 1.8 percent.