New motor sales flatlining
The ABS released its Sales of New Motor Vehicles figures for January 2015 this morning.
There were a seasonally adjusted 93,104 new motor vehicle sales in January, a slight increase on the prior year figure.
On a rolling annual basis, new motor vehicle sales are easing gently.
A great bulk of new unit sales are being driven by Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) sales as the popularity of the traditional passenger vehicle wanes.
Mining regions in decline
The most notable trend from this data series is how new motor vehicle sales are falling in resources regions, including some of those in the Northern Territory (-7.1 percent y/y), Queensland (-1.1 percent), Western Australia (-5.9 percent) and South Australia (-2.0 percent).
Over the past month on a trend basis the largest declines were seen in Western Australia (-0.9 percent) and South Australia (-0.6 percent).
On a seasonally adjusted basis the Northern Territory and Queensland recorded the greatest declines.
Anecdotally we are hearing of a good many "changes in circumstances" for mining contractors in regional Queensland.
It seems likely that this is being reflected in parts of resources rich Western Australia and the Northern Territory too.
Overall, we can see reasonably volumes of healthy motor sales in the larger cities which are being pulled back by declining sales in mining and resources regions.