Retail volume ticked up in May, slightly improving a moderately weak year to date. Wholesale volume was up more notably, extending 2015’s lead over 2016. The year-over-year decline in retail volume suggests end-user purchasing activity may have cooled off mildly, but continued high pricing keeps us from reading too much into the decline.

Retail sales per rooftop came in at 5.8 trucks in May – a 0.3 truck increase over April, but a 0.2 truck decrease vs. May 2014. Year-to-date, 2015 is running 0.7 trucks behind 2014. A good portion of this decrease is attributable to the severe weather in January and February, and also perhaps to a lesser extent the flooding in the Southeast in the spring. We expect the rate to remain in the high 5’s through the summer, with a possible dip in a typically-weak June. See graph below for detail.

On the wholesale side, things looked a lot more positive. We collected 3,633 auction and dealer-to-dealer sales records in May, compared to 3,495 in April and 3,149 in May of 2014. Year-to-date, 2015 is running 789 trucks (or 4.6%) ahead of last year. Increased trades are responsible for the increased volume. See graph below for detail.

As noted last week, pricing in both channels was down in May. However, that trend didn’t apply to all makes and models – some were up month-over-month. The used truck market continues to absorb a higher volume of incoming trades, and a good portion of them are not the most-desired models with the best specs. Our forecast of roughly 1-1.5% depreciation per month remains in place.