Edmunds is forecasting U.S. light-duty vehicle sales of 1.57 million units in May, for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.7 million units.
The number would be a 16-percent increase from April and a 3.5-percent jump from May 2017.
“The summer selling season is off to a healthy start,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds manager of industry analysis. “Despite rising gas prices, shoppers are clearly demonstrating their confidence in the strength of the economy as they continue to seek out larger, more expensive vehicles.”
Memorial Day sales events could contribute to the lift as well, Edmunds noted.
“Inventories of in-demand vehicles such as light trucks are still running high, so automakers are motivated to make this holiday weekend sales event count,” Acevedo said. “Depending on how shoppers respond, this could set the trend for even sweeter deals as we head deeper into the year.”