: The partial government shutdown and wrangling over borrowing have hurt auto sales. Data collected by J.D. Power and Associates showed that sales slowed to an annual pace of 15.3 million in the week ended Oct. 11.
THE ANALYSIS: Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, attributed the drop to consumers delaying big-ticket purchases due to uncertainty over the wrangling in Washington.
THE FUTURE: Schuster said sales could recover in the back half of October if Congress approves a debt deal. But they could fall next year if there's another budget confrontation.