After a Sluggish Start to Year, Car Sales Making up for Lost Time

Edmunds expects a November tally of 17.8 million, a new high for 2017.

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Retailers offering deals on new cars and trucks are helping spur consumer demand this month, and more than years past, with sales expected to be 3.5 percent higher in November than a year ago, Edmunds projected on Wednesday.

The car shopping and information provider forecasts that 1,422,212 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.8 million, reflecting a 5.3 percent hike from October.

"Usually, the first two weeks of the month are slow, especially before a holiday," Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis said in a release. "But this year retailers are pushing the Black Friday bargains throughout the entire month" in an effort to clear out 2017 models, she added.

Significant discounts can also be found on used cars, especially on the day after the Thanksgiving Day holiday, according to a recent study by car research site iSeeCars.

Edmunds estimates that retail seasonally-adjusted annual rate will come to 15 million vehicles this month, with fleet transactions accounting for 15.9 percent of total sales. An estimated 2.9 million used vehicles will be sold in November 2017, for a seasonally adjusted rate of 38.9 million, compared to 3.2 million, or an adjusted rate of 38.9 million, in October.

"While 2017 may have gotten off to a sluggish start, strong sales through the back third of the year are making up for lost time," Caldwell said. "We expect full-year sales to be over 17 million for the third year in a row, and are still tracking near our forecast of 17.2 million."