U.S. new-vehicle sales for December are expected to show continued steady growth, but analysts say much of the gains are linked to buyers who delayed purchases and therefore will not an indicate a strengthening economy.
December's annualized sales rate is expected to top 13 million vehicles for the fourth straight month as the steady growth of sales continues to belie uncertainty about the overall economy, said J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive.
December U.S. auto sales likely rose 9 percent from the previous year, 30 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters indicated, to 13.6 million vehicles sales on an annualized basis. December 2010 annualized sales were 12.5 million.