August sales may struggle because of Labor Day

In just one week, millions and millions of Americans will gleefully skip out of work for the long Labor Day weekend. You know what's also happening next weekend? It's the biggest and best weekend to buy a new vehicle on the entire automotive calendar. But because of how this year's Labor Day weekend falls – it takes place entirely in September, rather than running through the end of August, like it did last year – there's concern that this month's sales figures will be disappointing.

In fact, because consumers will likely hold off on purchases until next weekend, Automotive News reports, it's likely that August will be the slowest sales month in over a year and a half. According to AN, analysts from both LMC Automotive and Kelley Blue Book are forecasting a four-percent decline in August's year-over-year sales, because of the way Labor Day falls. Other big automotive analysts – TrueCar, Edmunds, and Barclays – are predicting a slightly less disappointing three-percent drop.

"There certainly is no cause for alarm," warned JD Power's senior VP of the global automotive practice, John Humphrey, in a statement obtained by AN. And that's because despite a slower than usual August, the seasonally adjusted annualized rate – the sales figures sans seasonal fluctuations, like Labor Day – should be on par or slightly higher than this time last year, as weak August sales will just be followed by a stronger-than-usual September.

"Our expectation is that with Labor Day falling in September, sales that would have occurred this month are being pushed into next month. If that happens, September will move sales back to the strong trend that we've been seeing throughout the year," Humphrey said.

So in short, don't fret about crummy August sales figures you'll read about next week. Things will almost certainly bounce back next month.

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