The Week in Business: Market Chaos in Britain

Data about light-vehicle sales usually doesn’t get much attention from outside the auto industry. But, with the economy slowing, the numbers have become increasingly useful as an insight into consumer demand and corporate profits. Over the summer, when inflation was running up to its peak, demand was hot, and dealerships struggled to keep up because of supply chain problems. But, with fewer cars to go around, dealers were able to raise prices, which in turn helped them offset the higher costs they were paying to manufacturers. The result was record profits for dealerships. Now, increases in interest rates threaten to cool demand for new vehicles.