Vehicle sales increased in October from 17.8 million to 18.3 million units on a seasonally adjusted annual rate. This represents just under a 3% gain month over month and a 0.6% gain year over year. The pace of vehicle sales does not appear sustainable, however, as the industry will face headwinds from financing in the upcoming year. If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates as anticipated, this will filter down to auto loan rates and cause payments to rise. Financing will also become more constrained as the level of auto loan delinquencies will continue to rise, as it has in 2016. Another risk to sales is a decline in used-vehicle pricing, which erodes leasing sales and has accounted for an increasing share of sales overall.
Risk of Recession
The probability that the U.S. will be in recession in six months fell one percentage point in September, to 12%. The current expansion is getting a bit long, as the nation shifts from a midto late-cycle expansion. Entering a late-cycle expansion, however, does not mean that a recession is imminent. Fundamentals remain strong; household balance sheets couldn’t be better, the financial system’s balance sheet is strong, and although businesses have leverage, the levels are manageable given low interest rates. In summation, the current expansion has room to run.
The information herein was obtained from various sources believed to be accurate; however, Forté Capital does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. This report was prepared for general information purposes only. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed constitutes an offer to buy or sell any securities, options, or futures contracts. Forté Capital’s Proprietary Market Risk Barometer is a summary of 30 indicators and is copyrighted by Forté Capital LLC. For further information, visit www.fortecaptial.com, send a message to [email protected], or call 866-586-8100.