GAS PRICES ARE DOWN - TRUCK SALES AND HOUSING STARTS ARE UP
Nationally, as of the begining of the new year, gas prices have fallen to $1.90 a gallon
Nationally, as of the begining of the new year, gas prices have fallen to $1.90 a gallon and still falling, down 10 percent from a year earlier, and more than half of the record high of $4.11 set in July 2008, according to AAA. Yesterday here in Naples, Florida I saw regular gas at $1.79. Naples is typically higher than the national average, because Southwest Florida is near the end of the line for delivery.
As gas prices go down, truck ownership goes up. Analysts say truck sales that jumped in the second half of 2015 will continue to be strong in 2016. And the strengthening housing market will increase the need for trucks large enough to haul tools and equipment.
Ford truck sales rose 8.2 percent in November 2015 versus the same month a year earlier. F-series pickups rose 10 percent, making the best November for truck sales in eight years.
Chevrolet truck sales rose for the 20th consecutive month in November. GM chief executive Mustafa Mohatarem says he expects auto sales to continue to grow in 2016, including SUVs and pickup trucks. The 2016 Chevy Colorado was named 2016 Motor Trend's truck of the year.
Transaction prices are higher, so consumers are willing to spend more on higher-priced vehicles. There is a healthy demand which has increased the average truck price to nearly $45,000.
Sean Beckett, the chief economist at Freddie Mac says he expects housing activity will continue to grow in 2016. Total housing starts are forecast to grow 16 percent this year, with single-family homes accounting for most of the construction increase. That is also good news for the truck sellers.
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