Though vehicle sales were varied across the nation, they were seen as mostly satisfactory, according to the Oct. 10 Beige Book, an economic report from the Federal Reserve Bank’s 12 districts.
New-vehicle sales ran ahead of comparable 2011 levels, with four districts reporting strong sales. Another two districts reported moderation following a solid August, and two others had sales leveling off. There were mixed used-car sales, as the San Francisco district witnessed hardy sales, whereas sales were flat in New York and Cleveland.
There was a slight rise in overall lending since the Aug. 29 Beige Book, as consumer credit demand, mainly for auto loans, had strong showings in the Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Francisco districts. In Dallas, for example, “auto loan demand, particularly for new autos, was a bright spot,” the report stated. A more restrained need for loans was reported in New York, Richmond, Chicago, and Kansas City.
On a production note, the Cleveland district saw not only a limited rise in auto sales, but its auto production recovered on a month-over-month basis in August, thanks to auto plants’ production schedules getting back on track. Looking back to a year ago, the manufacturing numbers declined slightly for domestic producers, and ticked up for foreign manufacturers.
The Fed will release the next Beige Book Nov. 28.