In what was a downbeat overnight session for economic data, we got some positive news this morning in the form of pickup truck sales for the month of August. We like to track sales of pickup trucks as they are often a sign of strength or weakness in the small business and construction sectors. These types of businesses are the most common users of these vehicles. In this morning’s release from Ford (F), the company announced total sales of 71,330 F-series trucks in the month of August. As shown in the top chart, that represents the strongest month of truck sales since 2006 (barely beating out 2013), when the company sold a total of 77,000 F-series trucks.
While August’s total sales were the strongest since 2006, the YTD total is still down for the second straight year. As shown in the chart below, total sales through the end of August have totaled 495,000, which is down from last year’s total of 497K and the prior year’s total of 499K. Given the strength in the monthly numbers over the last two months, though, we are starting to see this year’s total catch up to the prior two years.