Attention SAAR watchers: An early Labor Day will give August auto sales a boost, at the expense of September's figures.
The three-day holiday weekend informally marking the end of summer traditionally is a marketing bonanza for automakers and dealers. And it gives auto companies extra time to pad the August tally.
Labor Day falls on Monday, Sept. 2. Since monthly sales reports end on a business day, that means deals made through Tuesday, Sept. 3, will be considered August sales.
Having a fifth weekend will bolster the August report, said analyst Richard Kwas of Wells Fargo. He expects a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 15.5 million to 15.6 million, the third-highest SAAR of the year and well above last August's 14.5 million.
But there's a payback. Says Kwas: "September's volume will be impacted by the exclusion of Labor Day."