February US Sales Expected Up 4% image

Analysts expect February auto sales in the US to surpass 15 million units, a clear sign that markets begin to recover after recession.

The analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters predict a 4% increase in February auto sales, reaching an annualized rate of 15.1 million vehicles. US automakers are expected to report February results on Friday.

“Car sales are persevering despite economic factors on people’s minds like rising gas prices and the implementation of the payroll tax,” said Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell. “Pent-up demand and widespread access to credit are keeping up car sales momentum.”

Although February sales are expected to see a 4% increase, this would be lower than that of recent year-on-year increases. One of the main reasons for increased buyer confidence this month is the fact that consumers have shrugged off concerns over 2013’s payroll tax increase.

Jesse Toprak of TrueCar.com predicts a 17% increase in February to an annualized sales rate of 15.7 million vehicles as small businesses increased sales of full-sized pickup trucks, a segment which will remain strong throughout the year. GM’s pickup truck inventory level is expected to have dropped to 104 days from 117 days at the end of last month.