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When most consumers buy a car they take out a loan. So, it makes sense that the Federal Reserve's Fed Funds rate (the rate at which the Fed lends money to other banks) is a good leading indicator of real motor vehicle and parts (MV&P) personal consumption expenditures (what consumers spend on cars and parts). Here, we are looking at the year over year change in the Fed Funds rate. And, we've inverted the scale because as the change in rates goes down, meaning money is relatively cheaper, consumers are more willing to borrow for purchases. On average changes in the Fed Funds rate lead changes in consumer spending on motor vehicles and parts by 15 months. 
As consumers spend more or less on cars and parts, automotive manufacturers adjust their production to meet the new consumer demand. On average consumer spending on vehicles and parts leads industrial production by five months.