Beige Report: Auto Sales Flat, Despite Increased Inventory

By Staff Writer January 20, 2023

Auto sales were flat on average, but some dealers noted that increased vehicle availability had boosted sales, according to the recent Beige Report from The Federal Reserve.

Overall economic activity was relatively unchanged since the previous report, though retailers reported high inflation has reduced consumers’ purchasing power, “particularly among low and moderate-income households.”

Five of the Fed’s 12 regional banks reported slight or modest increases in overall activity, six noted no change or slight declines, and one cited a significant decline. On balance, contacts generally expected little growth in the months ahead.

Consumer spending increased slightly, with some retailers reporting more robust sales over the holidays.

Other retailers noted that high inflation continued to reduce consumers’ purchasing power, particularly among low- and moderate-income households.

Manufacturers indicated that activity declined modestly on average, and, in many districts, reported that supply chain disruptions had eased. Housing markets continued to weaken, with sales and construction declining across some districts.

Commercial real estate activity slowed slightly, on average, with more notable weakening in the office market.

Nonfinancial services firms experienced stable demand on balance. Most bankers reported that residential mortgage demand remained weak, and some said higher borrowing costs had begun to dampen commercial lending. Energy activity continued to increase moderately, and agriculture conditions were generally unchanged or improving.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 January 2023 14:02