Auto Affordability Slipped In Fourth Quarter, Comerica Bank Reports

     Auto Affordability Slipped In Fourth Quarter, Comerica Bank Reports

PR Newswire

DALLAS, March 20, 2013

DALLAS, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The purchase and financing of an
average-priced new vehicle took 23.6 weeks of median family income in the
fourth quarter of 2012, according to Comerica Bank's Auto Affordability Index.
Consumers on average spent $900 more on new cars in the fourth quarter of 2012
than they did in the third quarter.

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"Auto affordability slipped slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012, declining
by 0.4 weeks of median family income," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at
Comerica Bank in Dallas. "Driving the decrease in affordability was a
combination of slightly higher interest rates and an increase in the average
consumer expenditure per new car. Although median family income was also
estimated to have increased, this increase was not enough to offset the rise
in rates and expenditures. Vehicle sales through January have held up well
although there has been a distortion in the recent sales data due to Hurricane
Sandy. Sales surged after Hurricane Sandy to a 15.5 million unit rate in
November and have since dipped to a 15.2 million unit rate by January.
Downside risk from cuts in federal spending still lurks for auto sales and
many other U.S. economic variables through the first half of 2013."

This report incorporates the latest data on consumer spending on light
vehicles and on the terms available on auto loans. The full history of the
Index is available upon request. Some historical data is in the process of
being revised by the data sources and, as a result, revisions to the auto
affordability series are expected in the months ahead.

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company
headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business
segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica
focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In
addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona,
California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several
other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Follow Comerica Chief Economist
Robert Dye on Twitter at @Comerica_Econ.

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SOURCE Comerica Bank

Website: http://www.comerica.com
Contact: Media, Robert Dye, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist,
+1-214-462-6839, radye@comerica.com; or Data Contact, Meaghan Derrick,
Research Assistant, +1-214-462-6815, maderrick@comerica.com
 
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