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Newsletter
Economic Growth to Decelerate in 2019 and Then Ease Further in 2020 as Auto Sales Downshift

According to participants in the Chicago Fed?s annual Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS), the nation?s economic growth is forecasted to slow this year and then moderate close to its long-term average in 2020. Inflation is expected to decline in 2019 and to edge higher in 2020. The unemployment rate is anticipated to move down to 3.6% by the end of 2019, but then tick back up next year. Light vehicle sales are predicted to decrease from 17.2 million units in 2018 to 16.8 million units in 2019 and then to 16.6 million units in 2020.
Chicago Fed Letter

Newsletter
Making cars smarter: The growing role of electronics in automobiles

Electronics make up nearly 40% of the content of today?s average new automobile, and their share will continue to grow. On June 2, 2011, as part of the eighteenth annual Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS), the Chicago Fed hosted a panel of experts at its Detroit Branch to examine the current and future roles of electronics in motor vehicles.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue Oct

Newsletter
The VW Scandal and Evolving Emissions Regulations

In September 2015, Volkswagen (VW) admitted to having programmed nearly 11 million of its diesel vehicles to cheat on tailpipe emissions tests. To put VW?s emissions rigging into a broader context, the authors review the different approaches that the U.S. and Europe have historically taken in regulating automotive emissions and fuel economy. Moreover, they discuss the scandal?s implications for regulatory changes in both regions.
Chicago Fed Letter

Report
The production impact of "cash-for-clunkers": implications for stabilization policy

Stabilization policies frequently aim to boost spending as a means to increase GDP. Spending does not necessarily translate into production, however, especially when inventories are involved. We look at the ?cash-for-clunkers? program that helped finance the purchase of nearly 700,000 vehicles in 2009. An analysis of auto sales and production movements reveals that the program did prompt a large spike in sales. But the program had only a modest and fleeting impact on production, as inventories buffered the movements in sales. These findings suggest caution in judging the efficacy of such ...
Staff Reports , Paper 503

Newsletter
The Impact of Trade on the North American Auto Industry

On September 4–5, 2019, the Chicago Fed held a conference at its Detroit Branch to discuss trade’s role in shaping the North American auto industry. This event brought together nearly 100 attendees, including industry leaders, academics, and policymakers.
Chicago Fed Letter , Volume 427 , Issue 427

Journal Article
Auto Production Footprints: Comparing Europe and North America

Today?s footprints of motor vehicle production1 in Europe and North America appear at first glance to be remarkably similar: In both regions, plants producing motor vehicles are highly agglomerated, which is typical of manufacturing activities. The auto industry is a global industry: A dozen or so mass producers compete with one another around the world. Because these automakers employ similar production models in their plants, one might expect similar forces to shape their production location decisions. This article evaluates whether the same general factors explain the broad patterns seen ...
Economic Perspectives , Issue Q IV , Pages 101-119

Working Paper
Evidence on the Within-Industry Agglomeration of R&D, Production, and Administrative Occupations

To date, most empirical studies of industrial agglomeration rely on data where observations are assigned an industry code based on classification systems such as NAICS in North America and NACE in Europe. This study combines industry data with occupation data to show that there are important differences in the spatial patterns of occupation groups within the widely used industry definitions. We focus on workers in manufacturing industries, whose occupations almost always fit into three groups: production, administrative, or R&D. We then employ two approaches to document the spatial ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-20

Newsletter
The Impact of Trade on the North American Auto Industry

On September 4–5, 2019, the Chicago Fed held a conference at its Detroit Branch to discuss trade’s role in shaping the North American auto industry. This event brought together nearly 100 attendees, including industry leaders, academics, and policymakers.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 427

Discussion Paper
End of the Road? Impact of Interest Rate Changes on the Automobile Market

The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at historic lows for the last six years, but eventually rates will return to their long-term averages. That means both policymakers and the public will once again be asking one of the classic questions in monetary economics: What are the impacts of rising interest rates on the real economy? Our recent New York Fed staff report ?Interest Rates and the Market for New Light Vehicles,? considers this question for the U.S. market for new cars and light trucks. We find strong evidence that rising rates will dampen activity: Our model predicts that in the ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20151123

Report
Interest rates and the market for new light vehicles

We study the impact of interest rates changes on both the demand for and supply of new light vehicles in an environment where consumers and manufacturers face their own interest rates. An increase in the consumers? interest rate raises their cost of financing and thus lowers the demand for new vehicles. An increase in the manufacturers? interest rate raises their cost of holding inventories. Both channels have equilibrium effects that are amplified and propagated over time through inventories, which serve as a way to both smooth production and facilitate greater sales at a given price. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 741

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