Wall Street investors are keeping an eye on used car prices, something they rarely monitored before. It’s not that they’re all suddenly in the market for a well-maintained Ford Edge; it’s because used car prices are currently one of the best indicators of whether the economy is headed towards inflation or not.
The New York Times details the close watching of the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, a monthly analysis of wholesale used car sales. It’s operated by Cox Automotive, a massive conglomerate that owns Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader and 80 or so wholesale dealer auctions around the country. Through the approximately 5 million cars they sell a year, they’ve been able to compile a lot of data about used car trends.
Moreover, because these wholesale auctions are dealer-only, they’re a good crystal ball for what consumers will be paying for cars a couple of months down