U.S. auto sales have been pleasantly surprising everyone this year with a strong start to 2012. For the second month in a row sales have exceeded expectations in the auto industry with close to a staggering 16 percent increase in the month of February alone. This sheds a hopeful light on the struggling economy as car and truck sales are at their highest rate in 4 years and have increased over 20 percent in the last 2 years.
The good fortune continues with carmakers adding shifts and hiring thousands of workers across the country. Last year carmakers and parts companies were able to create 38 thousand jobs. It is forecasted that this year automakers will bring in thousands of more jobs as well.
Strong data sales for the year have been consistent even as fuel prices for last month shot up 8 percent with an added 30 cents per gallon. Though short-term fluctuations in the cost of fuel will not hurt the demand for new vehicles this year, they could influence consumer preferences on the fuel efficiency of a vehicle.
Analysts credit the gains to upbeat U.S. economic data and rising consumer confidence. Coming into 2012, the average age of a car on the road was at an all-time high in over 10 years. American drivers are seeking to replace their aging vehicles, which many have delayed in doing during the depths of the economic downturn.
Continuing the trend in month to month strength, many are looking forward to 2012 as a year of recovery and growth in the auto market. Analysts expect annual sales of 14 million vehicles this year, an increase from last year in which the industry sold 12.8 million vehicles. This is encouraging to America’s economy and creates an optimistic nation for the year 2012.