DALLAS, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The purchase and financing of an average-priced new vehicle took 23.2 weeks of median family income in the first quarter of 2012. Consumers on average spent $300 more (an increase of 1.2 percent) on new cars in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
"Auto affordability was down slightly in the first quarter of 2012, but remains very high by historical standards, contributing to the upward trend in auto sales visible from mid-2011 through early 2012," said Robert Dye, Chief Economist of Comerica Bank in Dallas. "Job creation has supported slow-to-moderate income growth while car prices have increased moderately and interest rates have remained low. Households have paid down debt, and that has created space in household budgets, allowing many families to take advantage of the current high affordability of new cars. Easing gasoline prices through the current second quarter will also help auto sales. These favorable trends are helping consumers to feel more confident about unleashing their pent-up demand for automobiles."
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. To receive e-mail alerts of breaking Comerica news, go to http://www.comerica.com/newsalerts.
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SOURCE Comerica Incorporated