North American production will start an upward trend in first-quarter 2007 after hitting a trough in fourth-quarter 2006, but it will not reach the historically high levels averaged for most of this decade until the latter part of next year. Ward’s forecasts quarterly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAARs) will not return to the 16.5 million averaged from 2002 through first-half 2006 until third-quarter 2007. (The SAARs are calculated using the Federal Reserve’s factors for the U.S. ...

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