Traffic at vehicle dealerships is picking up speed.
The first half of this year was difficult for your local automotive dealer. The volume of activity at these businesses was down compared to last year as consumers seemed to be holding back on decisions for this type of major purchase.
But as the year progressed, we started to see the gap between this year and last narrowing. The latest numbers we have are from June. They came out earlier this week and show the spread between sales in June of last year and June of this year was tracking on a narrowing trend line. This year, dealers sold 5,000 units in June. Last year it was 5,400.
The value of those sales was almost identical, which suggests buyers are opting for slightly more expensive models this year. It is hard to tell if this is a signal that consumer confidence in high-ticket purchases is also rising, but it definitely suggests an improvement in the outlook buyers are showing as they dig a bit deeper into their pockets.