The joy of sales stability

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News flash: August U.S. auto sales climbed to a 14.5 million selling rate -- the eighth straight month with a seasonally adjusted annual figure between 13.9 million and 14.5 million.

Was anybody shocked? Even mildly surprised?

Okay, 14.5 million did exceed analysts’ expectations a bit. The Bloomberg consensus of forecasters was 14.2 million. So that’s, um, good. Yawn.

What’s the most notable difference between this sales year and the previous four?

The quiet. The calm. It’s like a picnic not interrupted by a stampede, aerial strafing or artillery barrage. Why, conditions are almost predictable.

Remember the sales free-fall terror of 2008, 2009’s depths of despair, the 2 million SAAR spike in 2010? Even last year, with its April to May slump and August to October surge, was pretty volatile.

Compared with that, eight months of slow growth is downright peaceful -- even with its modest ups and downs. Our adrenal glands can use the rest.

You can reach Jesse Snyder at jsnyder@crain.com.

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