WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — New-vehicle retail sales in June and the retail seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate are expected to be at their highest levels for the month since 2005, according to a monthly sales forecast by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive are forecasting June retail sales of 1.17 million units for the month. This represents a 1% increase on a selling-day adjusted basis compared with June 2014 and the highest retail sales volume for the month of June since 2005.

New-vehicle retail SAAR is projected to be 13.6 million units, gaining 400,000 units year over year and also representing the strongest selling rate in a decade. Retail sales through the first half of 2015 are on pace to reach 6.8 million units.

“The industry continues to outperform prior-year levels with respect to retail sales and transaction prices,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power. “June is on pace to complete the strongest first half of the year since 2002.”

Total light-vehicle sales for June are projected to reach 1.48 million units, which is essentially flat on a selling-day adjusted basis compared with last June. Fleet volume is forecasted to reach 309,600 units, with the fleet share falling slightly from year-ago levels of 21% to 22% of total sales.

Total light-vehicle sales for the year were adjusted slightly from last month’s numbers, with LMC Automotive forecasting 17.1 million units. That's up from its prior forecast of 17 million.

“Don’t let the lower year-over-year percent change fool you; this is arguably the strongest and healthiest the auto industry has been in a very long time,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “A green light outlook across a basket of metrics — including economic support, gas prices, the stock market, higher and stable transaction prices and significant product activity - is behind our forecast of a 17.1 million unit pace in the second half of 2015.”