Add car sales to the list of positive economic news released today. Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, Hyundai and Honda all reported double-digit increases in November sales when compared to the same period last year.
Hyundai was the biggest percentage winner, seeing a 45 percent jump in U.S. sales. Toyota was the lone loser. The Japanese giant's sales slipped 3 percent.
Among Americas "Big Three," Ford lead the way with 20 percent gain, followed by Chrysler (now controlled by Italy's Fiat) with a 17 percent surge and GM with an 11 percent increase.
The good news from the auto industry followed the upticks we reported on earlier in the stock market, employment numbers, construction and manufacturing.
While car sales are picking up, AP put the numbers in perspective:
Moody's is predicting U.S. sales this year of 11.5 million cars and trucks, rising to around 13 million next year, still far short of the 2000 peak of 17 million. Sales so far this year are running at an annual rate that matches the Moody's prediction. That's less than the 12.5 million vehicles that are typically scrapped eachyear.