Paul Ballew, GM executive director of global market and industry analysis, said the average vehicle transaction price in the U.S.A. rose to $27,023 in 2003, up from $26,249 the year before. One reason for rising transaction prices is a 30 percent improvement in the affordability of vehicles compared to just over a decade ago, based on a vehicle cost as a percentage of personal income. Ballew forecast continued growth in the luxury segment and in trucks. According to Ballew, this improved affordability is helping foster the trend of consumers buying more expensive vehicles, with luxury vehicles sales in the U.S. market reaching 1.8 million units a year and one-third of all vehicles sales having a transaction price of $30,000 and up. As a result, industry revenue gains are forecast to be in the 6 percent to 7 percent range this year and next year. General Motors expects an industry-wide sales in the low 17 millions for 2004 with modest growth in 2005.