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Consumer tax refunds help bump vehicle sales

Staff writer |
In their February Guidelines report, analysts from NADA Used Car Guide forecasted used vehicle prices to continually rise by 1 – 1.5 percent in February, potentially topping out at a 2.5 percent increase in March.

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According to Jonathan Banks, NADA Used Car Guide's executive analyst, "The price bump in the used vehicle market is created by several

factors, but one of them has to do with recently filed consumer tax returns." Banks went on to state, "Americans looking to buy their next car now have the needed funds in the form of tax refund checks. Their purchasing actions will continue to drive demand during the remainder of the quarter."

As a result of the rise in used vehicle prices, NADA's Used Vehicle Price Index has increased half a percentage point to 125. The figure is significant as it is the fifth highest figure recorded in index history.

Consumers looking to buy a new car or truck will equally find a very active marketplace. During January, new vehicle sales accelerated by 14 percent, making it the best January since 2001. Brisk sales during the month also helped contribute to a SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) of 16.6M vehicles.

Now hitting a two year streak, manufacturers have used incentive spending to assist consumers with new vehicle purchases. Average spending by manufacturers is up 1.5 percent, which is about $2,588 per vehicle.

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