According to an analysis by Jeff Foltz, President of Auto Outlook, Inc., an independent automotive market research firm, new vehicle sales are expected to grow for the fourth year in a row. Jeff estimates that new car and truck sales in NewJersey will increase 4.6% in 2013, following a 5.1% increase in 2012.While the growth in New Jersey is slower than the overall national growth in vehicle sales (12.7% in 2012), there are several reasons for the difference. Believe it or not, New Jersey auto sales didn’t fall as far as some parts of the country when the recession hit. And New Jersey sales came back much earlier than the rest of the country four years ago. During the last year or two, the national auto sales numbers have been playing catch-up.Unemployment in New Jersey is also holding back more robust automotive sales, with the State unemployment rate at 9.3% in November 2012, considerably higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.8%.13 New Jersey Counties See Increase In 2012 Vehicle RegistrationsNew retail light vehicle registrations were up in 13 of the 21 New Jersey counties in 2012 with Atlantic, Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex and Salem Counties leading the way with increases from nearly 10% to 13.6%. The remaining eight counties had minor decreases ranging from .1% to 2%.NADA Predicts Auto Sales In 2013 Will Jump To 15.4 MillionThe National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) predicts U.S. auto sales will grow by one million vehicles in 2013. U.S. auto sales climbed by 13% to 14.4 million vehicles in 2012. NADA thinks more than 15.4 million vehicles will be sold in 2013, echoing the forecasts of many automakers for vehicle sales this year.