NADA predicts 16.4 million U.S. light vehicles sales in 2014
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Increasing home values, residential housing construction and rising employment are key factors that will drive the U.S. economy this year, says Steven Szakaly, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
"These factors are also critical to maintaining the pace of auto sales growth, which has been an integral part of the economic recovery," said Szakaly at the 2014 NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans.
NADA predicts 16.4 million new cars and light trucks will be purchased or leased in the U.S. this year, a 5.8 percent increase from 2013.
"Consumers will be far better off in 2014 than last year," Szakaly added. "Employment is improving, debt has been reduced and home prices across all regions of the country will remain stable or will rise, creating a positive wealth effect."
Last year, 15.5 million new light vehicles were sold in the U.S. It marked the fifth straight year of a long recovery from the global financial crisis and the automotive bankruptcies.
"There is considerable upside potential in 2014 as economic activity is expected to increase as the year progresses," he added. "Gross domestic product will grow about 2.8 percent this year, stability in housing with concurrent growth in employment and manufacturing all lead to a positive outlook for 2014."
Szakaly added that employment, particularly in the construction and services industries, will improve this year, and a moderation in gasoline prices and improvements in the housing market will help to offset stagnation in wages and income in 2014.
The four-day convention runs Jan. 24-27 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. For more information, visit www.nadaconvention.org.
NADA represents nearly 16,000 new-car and -truck dealerships with 32,000 domestic and international franchises. For more information, visit www.nada.org.