By Nat Shirley
Monday, Apr 30th, 2012 @ 5:44 pm
 
In contrast to the tepid rate of growth in the American economy as a whole, U.S. auto sales in April are expected to continue at the strong pace of expansion seen in the first quarter.

A survey of 41 auto analysts conducted by Thomson Reuters resulted in an average prediction of a annualized 14.4 million vehicle pace for April. That figure would essentially match the March results and represent a significant increase from the 13.2 million pace of the same period last year.

Pent-up demand, cheap financing and the need to replace aging vehicles were cited as factors behind the predicted sales growth.

However, some analysts cautioned that the positive momentum might not continue for the rest of the year.

"There's a feeling that the first quarter is as good as it gets. The rest of the year is going to be complicated with more European tail risks and political risk," said Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas.

Be sure to check back with Leftlane later this week for a full report on April's auto sales.