The Consumer Price Index for July, released in August by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reveals that the price index for new vehicles did not increase last month, while the price index for used cars and trucks rose by .7%. Statistics on increases from the first half of the year show new vehicles climbing 4%, while values for used cars and trucks climbed 5.3%.
The larger increase for used vehicles is something we’ve been reporting on as consumers see dramatically higher sale and trade-in prices for pre-owned cars and trucks. As for new vehicles, July’s slack in the price index may signal some better deals going on in August before a new 2012 lineup starts to replace the 2011 inventory still in new car dealer’s lots. Or, this could just be a seasonal hiccup in the slow growth of the average sale prices. Earlier in the year, analysts were still screaming about a significant shortage of some new car models, with supply disrupted by the tragic disasters in Japan. But with reports trickling out throughout the year on a restored supply chain and a thriving export market, it seems this part of the auto industry is recovering well, which could get reflected in new car numbers for the second half of 2011.
Although the Consumer Price Index and other technical economic reports can sometimes point consumers in the right direction for auto purchases, the real news often comes from key consumer reports groups that will boil down this information, do their own research, and offer details on current market conditions directly to the public. Car shoppers can use sites like Kelley Blue Book to look up current market pricing, or various other sites to get the scoop on factory-direct financing offers and other low interest rate financing available anywhere in the country. The Internet has really changed how people approach car buying, as well as financing. Paying careful attention to the information that’s out there can save a car buyer hundreds of dollars, not just through a good final sale price, but in how the financing agreement is set up. Borrowers who look out for their own can benefit from less debt and a more affordable monthly payment.