US Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for US Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized! 

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

7th May 2024

Manheim Used Car Price Index

Key takeaway: After nearly 4 months of muted declines, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index declined a substantial 2.3% m-o-m in April. Since reaching a peak of about 260 in late 2021, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index has been consistently falling since and now stands at 198. The key trend to note though in recent months, has been the slowdown in the pace of the fall. After falling sharply by 2.3% in October and 2.1% in November, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index had moderated a bit and was down only 0.5% in December. Subsequently the Index had in fact been flat on a m-o-m basis in January. The Index fell a marginal 0.1% in February and 0.4% in March. The slowdown in the pace of decline of the Index was a cause of concern from a CPI perspective. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with the overall trend in the Manheim Index, used car prices in the official CPI data have also mostly been falling over the past two years. The Used Car and Trucks category in the official CPI has been generally falling at an average of approximately 1% every month in 2023. However, the November 2023 CPI data had shown that Used Cars and Trucks inflation accelerated a bit at +1.6% over previous month. Similarly, Used Cars and Trucks also registered a positive 0.5% increase in December. With a couple of months of acceleration in the used car and trucks component of the CPI, there was some concern whether we would continue to see used car prices going up again. However, used car prices were down once again in the CPI for the January (by -3.4%(, then marginally higher (+0.5%) in February and then down again by 1.1% in March. The latest reading of the Index indicates a downward acceleration once again. However, it also might be too early to come to that conclusion. The negative 2.3% reading in April was substantially on account of seasonal factors. The un-adjusted price in April decreased by 0.6% compared to March. A close watch on this key private indicator can provide substantial clues about the future trend of the official CPI indicator.  

5th Apr 2024

Key takeaway: Since reaching a peak of about 260 in late 2021, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index has been consistently falling since and now stands at 203. The key trend to note though in recent months, has been the slowdown in the pace of the fall. After falling sharply by 2.3% in October and 2.1% in November, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index had moderated a bit and was down only 0.5% in December. Subsequently the Index had in fact been flat on a m-o-m basis in January. The Index fell a marginal 0.1% in February and 0.4% in March based on the latest release of the Index by Manheim on 5th April. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data have also mostly been falling over the past two years. The Used Car and Trucks category in the official CPI has been generally falling at an average of approximately 1% every month in 2023. However, the November 2023 CPI data had shown that Used Cars and Trucks inflation accelerated a bit at +1.6% over previous month. Similarly, Used Cars and Trucks also registered a positive 0.5% increase in December. With a couple of months of acceleration in the used car and trucks component of the CPI, there was some concern whether we would continue to see used car prices going up again. However, used car prices were down once again in the CPI for the January (by -3.4%) and then marginally higher (+0.5%) in February. The key point to note is that the Manheim Index shows that the large drops in Used car prices are behind us. The Index has been more or less flat for the past 6 months. Accordingly, it is difficult to presume significant deflationary inputs from the Used Car category in the official CPI data. There is a lot riding on goods deflation or disinflation because Services inflation has not been reducing at a fast enough rate to bring total inflation down. Any reduction in goods disinflation may put upward pressure on the overall CPI and push out rate cuts even further into the year. 

7th Mar 2024

Key takeaway: Since reaching a peak of about 260 in late 2021, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index has been consistently falling since and now stands at 203. The key trend to note though in recent months, has been the slowdown in the pace of the fall. After falling sharply by 2.3% in October and 2.1% in November, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index had moderated a bit and was down only 0.5% in December. Subsequently the Index had in fact been flat on a m-o-m basis in January. The Index fell a marginal 0.1% in February based on the latest release of the Index by Manheim on 7th March. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data have also mostly been falling over the past two years. The Used Car and Trucks category in the official CPI has been generally falling at an average of approximately 1% every month in 2023. However, the November 2023 CPI data had shown that Used Cars and Trucks inflation accelerated a bit at +1.6% over previous month. Similarly, Used Cars and Trucks also registered a positive 0.5% increase in December. With a couple of months of acceleration in the used car and trucks component of the CPI, there was some concern whether we would continue to see used car prices going up again. However, used car prices were down once again in the CPI for the January (by -3.4%). There is a lot riding on goods deflation or disinflation because Services inflation has not been reducing at a fast enough rate to bring total inflation down. Any reduction in goods disinflation may put upward pressure on the overall CPI and push out rate cuts even further into the year. 

7th Feb 2024

Key takeaway: After falling sharply by 2.3% in October and 2.1% in November, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index had moderated a bit and was down only 0.5% in December. Continuing that trend of moderation, the Index was mostly flat on a m-o-m basis in January. The Index is still substantially down (9.2%) on a y-o-y basis. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data have also fallen in the recent months. The Used Car and Trucks category in the official CPI has been generally falling at an average of approximately 1% every month in 2023. However, the November 2023 CPI data had shown that Used Cars and Trucks inflation accelerated a bit at +1.6% over previous month. Similarly, Used Cars and Trucks also registered a positive 0.5% increase in December. Even with the moderation in decreases in the Used Car Prices, it is unlikely that we will see a massive uptick in used car prices and hence the used car component in the official CPI data is likely to continue to be negative going forward. However, there is a lot riding on goods deflation or disinflation because Services inflation has not been reducing at a fast enough rate to bring total inflation down. Any reduction in goods disinflation may put upward pressure on the overall CPI and push out rate cuts even further into the year. 

8th Jan 2024

Key takeaway: After falling sharply by 2.3% in October and 2.1% in November, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index moderated a bit and was down only 0.5% in December. The Index is down 7.0% on a y-o-y basis. And compared to December 2021, it is down nearly 21%! Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data have also fallen in the recent months. The Used Car and Trucks category in the official CPI has been generally falling at an average of approximately 1% every month in 2023. The latest November 2023 CPI data showed Used Cars and Trucks inflation accelerated a bit in November at +1.6% over previous month. However, it is unlikely that we will see a massive uptick in used car prices and hence the used car component in the official CPI data is likely to continue to be negative going forward. This leading indicator continues to strongly point towards a disinflationary or even deflationary trend in used car prices in the official CPI calculation. This lends further credence to the possible scenario that inflation meets the Fed target sooner than expected and bolsters chances of a sooner-than-later Fed rate cut in 2024.  

7th Dec 2023

Key takeaway: After falling sharply by 2.3% in October, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index fell once again sharply by 2.1% in November. The Index is down 5.8% on a y-o-y basis. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data have also fallen in the recent months. The recent increases in the Index in the past couple of months (August and September) have been marginal. And October and November have recorded a substantial decline. This leading indicator continues to strongly point towards a disinflationary or even deflationary trend in used car prices in the official CPI calculation. This lends further credence to the possibility that inflation meets the Fed target sooner than expected and bolsters chances of a sooner-than-later Fed rate cut next year. 

7th Nov 2023

Key takeaway: After 2 months of increases in the Manheim Index of Used Car Prices, October was back in familiar territory of decline in the index. In the latest print of the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, used car prices decreased in the month of October (by 2.3% on a SA basis). The Index is down 4.0% on a y-o-y basis. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data had also fallen in the recent months. The recent increases in the Index in the past couple of months (August and September) have been marginal. And October has recorded a substantial decline. This leading indicator continues to point at a disinflationary trend in used car prices in the official CPI calculation.    

6th Oct 2023

Key takeaway: After 5 continuous months of m-o-m decreases in wholesale used vehicle prices, August had brought a stop to the declining trend when the index increased a small 0.2% m-o-m. In the latest print of the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, used car prices increased a bit further in the month of September (by 1.0% on a SA basis). Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data had also fallen in the recent months. For now, the increases in the Index are marginal. However, any large increases in the index, even though less likely, will be keenly watched by market participants. Another factor to watch out for are increased prices in the new vehicle market from extended strikes at the automakers.   

8th Sep 2023

Key takeaway: After 5 continuous months of m-o-m decreases in wholesale used vehicle prices, August brought a stop to the declining trend.  Prices increased a small 0.2% m-o-m. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data have also fallen in the recent months. We are likely to continue to see a drop in the used car prices component in the CPI. However, it will be key to track if the Manheim Index has bottomed.  

10th Aug 2023

Key takeaway: Wholesale used vehicle prices continued to drop in July. However, the pace of decline slowed. The Manheim Used Car Price Index fell 1.6% m-o-m in July, slower than the 4.2% drop in June. Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this trend, used car prices in the official CPI data have also fallen in the past 2 months. Hence, any slowdown in falling prices or rise in the Manheim Index, can signal goods inflation in future CPI data.  

7th Jul 2023

Key takeaway: Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. Hence the sharp rise in used vehicle prices seen in the first 3 months of 2023 was concerning from a sticky inflation perspective. However, the Manheim Used Vehicle Price Index has now fallen for 3 continuous months since April 2023. The used car price index fell 4.2% in June from May. The Index is now 10% lower than a year ago.  This 4.2% monthly drop is the largest decline since the start of the pandemic when the Index had plunged 11%. The core goods deflation story is hence well supported by the Manheim Used Car Index data. 

8th Jun 2023

Key takeaway: Past statistical analyses have shown that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the used car component of the official CPI basket calculations with a lag of 3-4 months. Hence the sharp rise in used vehicle prices seen in the first 3 months of 2023 was concerning from a sticky inflation perspective. However, the Manheim Used Vehicle Price Index fell subsequently in April (3% m-o-m on a seasonally adjusted basis and 4.4% from a year ago). That fall in prices continued in the month of May as well. The Index decreased back again in May: 2.7% m-o-m on a seasonally adjusted basis and 7.6% from a year ago. While 2 months don’t make a trend, it indeed does provide a data point to watch out for as broader consumer demand wanes in the economy and recessionary clouds gather. 

15th May 2023

Key takeaway: After 4 successive readings of m-o-m increases, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index decreased back again : 3% m-o-m on a seasonally adjusted basis and 4.4% from a year ago. The continual increase during the first few months of 2023 in used vehicle prices was a cause of concern. Past statistical analysis shows that trends in private measures of used vehicle prices show up in the official CPI basket with a lag of 3-4 months. In line with this past historical behaviour, used vehicle price index was up in the latest release of the April CPI (4.4% m-o-m).  However, the increasing trend in the Manheim Index was broken with the latest release and it will be key to observe if this index resumes its downward trend or April was an exception to an otherwise increasing prices trend noted so far in 2023. 

7th Apr 2023

Key takeaway: Wholesale used vehicle prices fell the sharpest and largest on a y-o-y basis in 2022 – contributing to the decline in headline CPI from a high of 9.1% to 6.5% by year end. Declining goods inflation and resilient services inflation has been the key theme for much of 2H 2022. Understandably, the Fed is also highly reliant on a rapid disinflation in the core goods space to bring overall CPI down (along with a slowdown in housing and core services ex-housing). Used car prices are a key component of goods inflation. Unfortunately, private indicators of used car prices have shown re-acceleration in the past couple of months. Used Car Prices, on a seasonally adjusted basis, had increased for 3 consecutive months in Dec 2022, Jan and Feb 2023 (0.8%, 2.5% and a whopping 4.3%!). The Manheim Used Car Price index showed wholesale used vehicle prices once again increased 1.5% in March from February. The index is still down 2.4% on a y-o-y basis. But the m-o-m increases increase the risk of a re-acceleration of core goods inflation in the benchmark CPI measure. Historical data shows that used car prices in the official CPI data lags by about 3-4 months from private measures of used car prices like the Manheim Index.  

7th Mar 2023

Key takeaway: As much as Chairman Powell’s exuberance about disinflation at and prior to the last FOMC conference was based on initial softening data on core services ex housing (which now stands revised and upended), it was equally based on a rapid disinflation in the core goods space. Used car prices are a key component of goods inflation. The flagship story of the pandemic – Used car prices shot up during the peak of the pandemic as automobile supply chains got disrupted and buyer demand shot through the roof as millions moved out from cities to the suburbs. 2022, on the other hand, was all about deflation in goods as supply chains came back to normal and consumer demand moderated. It was no surprise then that the Manheim Used Car Prices Index fell 15% on a year on year basis in December 2022. However, one of the most important developments in early 2023 has been the pick up in used car prices as tracked by this index (and not yet reflected in the Used Car and Trucks Prices category of the widely tracked BLS CPI Index). Used Car Prices, on a seasonally adjusted basis, have increased for 3 consecutive months in Dec 2022, Jan and Feb 2023 (0.8%, 2.5% and a whopping 4.3%!) While there might be some seasonality factors affecting these numbers, the increase is concerning and worth tracking closely.  

The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index is a measure of used vehicle prices in the US (excluding heavy trucks and motorcycles). By applying statistical analysis to its database of more than 5 million used vehicle transactions annually, Manheim has developed a measurement of used car prices that is independent of underlying shifts in the characteristics of the vehicles being sold. The Index broadly measures prices car dealerships pay for used cars at auctions.

Manheim