What Are Auto Sales? Definition & Importance


Photo of new cars parked together with text overlay that reads "What Are Auto Sales?"

Data on new cars and trucks help economists gauge consumer spending.

What Are Auto Sales?

Auto sales, commonly referred to as car and truck sales, are an important economic indicator in the U.S. because they are used to gauge consumer spending. This is a lagging economic indicator, in that car and truck sales are historical data and are tracked on a monthly and annual basis. In other words, by the time high auto sales numbers have been released, increased consumer spending on high-ticket items has likely already begun.


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