Blog: Data - the importance of comparing like with like
Dave Leggett | 3 April 2003
Another way that some analysts choose to view sales data is to produce a 'seasonally adjusted annualised running rate' or SAAR - which achieves the same thing, expressing volumes for particular periods in annual market terms (eg 'the market in March was running at a SAAR of 16 million units' - JD Power, for example, report and use SAARs extensively). But there is the added advantage that with the seasonal variation stripped out, any period can be compared to another. For example, you can compare the March SAAR with the February SAAR, or the Q1 SAAR with Q4 last year and so on. The SAAR can also be graphed continuously to see how the trend is moving. But there can still be extraordinary factors that upset the comparative analysis, like snow storms and then there are product actions that can lift the whole market, the effects of incentives timings...which is where the skills of interpretation come in. Maybe I should stop there.
Check the tables in the link to see the March US light vehicle sales detail - reproduced courtesy of Ward's.
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