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Slump in New Car Sales in May Raises Specter of US Recession

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Slumping US new car sales in May on continued high prices and low inventories have some analysts worried those lower-than-expected results could be a harbinger of a broader economic downturn.

Sales of new cars last month fell to 12.8 million vehicles at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, representing an 11% drop from April, according to data compiled by Wards Intelligence. That is the lowest level since December and reflects shrunken inventories amid a persistent shortage of semiconductors and near record-high vehicle prices.