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Consumers scaled back plans to buy a new car in October

Data: The Conference Board; h/t Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumers scaled back plans to buy a new car last month.

Why it matters: It may signal consumers' lack of confidence in the staying power of the U.S. economy.

  • What they’re saying: “If we find that consumers are concerned about the broader economy and they think that a recession may be coming next year or they’re worried about their own economic stability, they’re going to pull back from ... big-ticket purchases like vehicles,” Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive, tells Axios. 

But, but, but: “We are at the late stage of this business cycle. Pretty much everyone who’s wanted a new vehicle has bought one. It’s almost vehicle saturation at this point,” which might also explain the drop-off in purchase plans, Chesbrough says.

Go deeper: Fully electric vehicles could account for 7.6% of U.S. car sales