Americans want new cars and trucks, and they’re not letting higher gas prices or political dysfunction stand in their way.
New car and truck sales were up 4 percent in February as rising home construction and cheap financing kept the U.S. auto recovery on track. While the pace of growth is slowing, industry analysts expect more gains in the coming months, saying there’s little that could derail demand for new cars. Car buyers have already shrugged off higher Social Security taxes, which cut their take-home pay starting in January. Gas prices – which rose 36 cents to $3.78 per gallon in February – didn’t change their habits, either. And they ignored the debate over automatic spending cuts that were due to take effect Friday.