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Retail Auto Sales Recovery Still Better Than Expected

May 17, 2012

U.S. light vehicle sales rose 2 percent last month to 1.2 million units, slightly above analysts’ expectations, as consumers continued to purchase new cars and other fuel-efficient models at a faster rate than trucks and SUVs. In another sign the U.S. auto industry continues a steady recovery, light vehicles sold at an annualized rate of 14.4 million last month. That’s up from 13.1 million a year earlier and matched March’s 14.4 million rate. While the recent dip in gasoline prices helped spur sales, low inventories constrained deliveries at some automakers, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).