Bumper car sales vindicate Fed's stance on shutdown

The October numbers for the "Big Eight" car makers in the US suggest that shutdown may not have been quite so economically impactful as has been bandied about - and vindicate the Fed's decision not to mention it in its latest open market committee meeting earlier this week.

Analysts were quick to look at the effects shutdown had on short-term consumer purchasing - people aren't keen on spending money during times of economic uncertainty, or when they could not get paid - but the number of sales being reported by auto companies sheds a new light on things.

Ford reported the best October in terms of sales since 2004, on the back of strong retail demand for the Ford Fusion sedan and the Fiesta mini. The popular F-Series pickup truck saw over 60,000 unit sales. Total sales were 191,985 units - a 14 per cent rise from October 2012, with the Fusion rocketing 71 per cent to 21,740.

Rival Chrysler saw a 22 per cent year-over-year rise in total volume sales, to 140,083.

General Motors also did well during the month, with sales up 15.7 per cent compared with October 2012 and predictions of a 7.9 gain.