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There Is No Auto Loans Bubble

Posted at 6:18 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Yippee, we are selling cars and trucks at a 17.7 million pace. You know how good that is? It's up eight million units from the depths of the Great Recession.

But you know how weak that is? It's only back to where we were in 2005, before the great recession. In fact, it's identical to the peak.

Yet, we had 296 million people in our country back then. We now have almost 320 million, up more than 24 million.

When you look at it like that, is there really a ton of growth? Is it really that shocking?

It is certainly good news that, at least with autos, we are back to where we were before the tsunami hit. At about one million housing starts, we are still an astounding 700,000 units below where we were back then.

We have so radically underinvested in the housing industry, that you have to wonder if there will ever be a comeback to those levels, but with any pick-up in household formation the way Home Depot's  (HD) Carole Tome is starting to see, there's hope.

You want some sobering perspective on housing starts? We are hoping upon hope that the last few months might be a harbinger for a possible 1.2 million housing start figure. That would bring us back to where we were as a country in 1961. The difference? We were a nation of 180 million people back then. We have added 160 million people since.

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