Whoops, less than expected, and as the chart shows the seasonally adjusted rate of sales continues to decelerate from the prior peak months as weakness that began with the collapse of oil capex continues to spread to the rest of the economy:
From another source that spins flat to down sales as a positive for continued growth. Seems to me that if any of the ‘pieces’ grow at a lower rate than last year, some other ‘piece’ has to grow at a faster rate than it grew at last year to make up for it. This level of car sales will not be at all supportive of growth to the retail or factory sector:
Motor Vehicle Sales
Vehicle sales held at strong levels in February, at a 17.5 million annualized pace for total sales and at a 14.1 million pace for North-American models. Both rates are only fractionally lower than January and offer a sign of continued strength, though not accelerating strength, for the motor vehicle component of the government’s retail sales report. All readings show only the smallest fractional change with light trucks at a 10.1 million rate and cars at a 7.4 rate. Vehicle sales remain a central strength for the economy, boosting both the retail sector and helping to support the factory sector as well.