Used-car sales fell year-over-year in January but were up from December volume, according to a Cox Automotive report.
Sales were down 8% to about 2.8 million. The seasonally adjusted annual rate was an estimated 35.9 million, also down year-over-year but up from December, Cox said.
“The used market is showing some surprising strength to start the year,” said Cox Senior Economist Charles Chesbrough.
“Although down from last year, the recent sales pace has been ticking slightly higher. High prices in the new market, coupled with weakening used car prices, is supporting slightly stronger used demand.
Chesbrough said that if the trend continues, the spring selling season may be better than originally thought.
Retail sales of used cars – those excluding private-party transactions – are also estimated to be down year-over-year, by 7.5%, to 1.5 million but up from December, Cox said.
The company forecasts 2023 used-car sales to total 35.6 million, down 1% year-over-year.