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On the radar: Total motor vehicle sales little changed at 17.3 million in June from 17.4 million in May

The number of motor vehicles sold in June was little changed at 17.3 million in June after 17.4 million in May. This hints that sales of cars and light trucks are past the sluggish performance earlier this year and could help sustain the pace of consumer spending.

Sales of passenger cars were up to 5.0 million in June from 4.9 million in the prior month. Light truck sales — which includes minivans, SUVs, and crossovers — dipped to 12.3 million in June after 12.5 in May. The slight shift to smaller, less costly cars from larger, pricier vehicles could have a mild impact on the dollar value of sales in the motor vehicle component of the retail and food sales report for June at 8:30 ET on Tuesday, July 16. It is also possible that higher prices for gasoline have tipped some consumers’ decisions about what vehicle to purchases to more fuel efficient units.

The share of domestically produced unites remains little changed over the past year. It is the higher number of units build in the US that should help GDP growth for the second quarter. A slight increase in sales of heavy trucks should be reflected in business investment.

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