Forecasts: U.S. auto sales lowered by J.D. Power image

J.D. Power and Associates announced that it is lowering its U.S. auto sales forecasts for August, the remained of 2010 and 2011 as its expects a slow economic recovery.
Cautious consumer spending, due in part to the lingering high unemployment rate, is a key reason for the lower forecast, said Jeff Schuster, director of global forecasting for J.D. Power.

“The new-vehicle retail selling rate in August is expected to decline slightly from a relatively strong level in July, but remains above the selling rate from the first half of 2010,” J.D. Power and Associates said in a statement. “August new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 857,000 units.”

“Incentive levels are down 8 percent from July, but retail light-vehicle sales in August are showing relative strength,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates.

“While August retail sales are expected to be down 22 percent from August 2009, if the distortion from 2009’s CARS program is removed, August 2010 is actually up about 14 percent on a selling day-adjusted basis, signaling continued improvement year over year.”