Strong tail winds from federal tax cuts, deregulation and other positive economic trends are expected to help spur consumer spending in 2018, including for cars and trucks, economists and analysts say.
Pickup sales especially could benefit, while luxury-vehicle sales in states with high state taxes, such as New York, New Jersey and California, may be dinged by the tax-code changes.
The consensus forecast for economic growth this year is 2.7 percent, but National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray believes the momentum from last year will carry over and boost the economy 3 percent.
Business leaders are bullish about sales and profits, saying individual and corporate tax cuts will produce more disposable income, much of which will be spent on goods and services.
"Ninety-five percent of our members are upbeat about their own company's outlook, and I attribute a lot of that to tax reform," as well as a strength in the global economy, Moutray said.
The tax cuts are expected to pump $1.5 trillion into the economy over a decade, but how much will be eaten up by inflation or go into savings remains to be seen.