DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- U.S. auto sales probably rebounded in June after a slowdown in May, a recovery limited by shortages of vehicles from Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. that led some would-be consumers to put off buying.
June light-vehicle deliveries, to be released Friday, may have run at a 12 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would be an increase from 11.8 million in May, when sales set the slowest pace in eight months, according to researcher Autodata Corp.
The pace of new-vehicle retail sales cooled during the third week of June, after exhibiting a stronger pace during the first two weeks of the month, J.D. Power and Associates said today. The company gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.
The company blamed lower incentives, and tight supplies of new cars and lights trucks, notably small vehicles, for the slowdown in showroom traffic as the month unfolded.
The June retail seasonally adjusted annualized rate is expected to come in below 9.8 million units, but still nearly 500,000 units better than May. The total light-vehicle selling rate is expected to be below 12 million units for the second straight month, J.D. Power said.
Toyota and Honda, having lost production after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake March 11 near Japan, may each report sales declines of 13 percent, while deliveries by U.S. automakers General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. may rise at least 12 percent. Persistent unemployment and a depressed housing market are also weighing on new-vehicle demand, analysts said.
"The first issue is still going to be inventory and the lack thereof for Toyota and Honda," said George Magliano, a New York-based economist for IHS Automotive. "The second issue, and it's becoming an annoying issue and a concern until we see it change, is the soft patch in the economy. The housing numbers still stink, and you've got issues with jobs and confidence."
The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May. Confidence among U.S. consumers in June fell to a seven-month low, and the percentage of consumers planning to buy a new vehicle within six months fell to 3.1 percent, the lowest since December, the New York based Conference Board said this week.
The percentage of consumers planning to buy a home within six months slid to 3.7 percent, also the lowest since December.