China auto sales de­cline in July

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

BEI­JING: China's auto sales fell in July for the fourth straight month, an in­dus­try group said Tues­day, as eco­nomic growth slows in the world's largest car mar­ket. Ve­hi­cle sales in the coun­try to­talled 1.50 mil­lion units last month, down seven per­cent from 1.62 mil­lion a year ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures pro­vided by the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers (CAAM). It was the fourth con­sec­u­tive month in which sales had de­creased and the fall was the sharpest of the pe­riod, CAAM data showed, ac­cel­er­at­ing from a 2.31 per­cent drop in June.

Pro­duc­tion fell to 1.52 mil­lion units from 1.72 mil­lion a year ear­lier, plung­ing more than 11 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to CAAM. Eco­nomic growth hit a 24-year low last year, ex­pand­ing 7.4 per­cent amid a steady slow­down from years of dou­ble-digit ex­pan­sions. Growth in gross do­mes­tic prod­uct has de­cel­er­ated fur­ther this year, ex­pand­ing 7.0 per­cent in each of the first two quar­ters. Car plate re­stric­tions in some ma­jor cities to ease traf­fic grid­lock and stock mar­ket volatil­ity this year have also hit de­mand. The Shang­hai stock in­dex plunged more than 30 per­cent over three weeks from a June 12 peak be­fore re­bound­ing on ag­gres­sive gov­ern­ment sup­port mea­sures. China's over­all auto sales reached 23.49 mil­lion ve­hi­cles last year, jump­ing 6.9 per­cent from 2013 but fall­ing short of CAAM's growth tar­get of 8.3 per­cent for the year. CAAM in July low­ered its es­ti­mate for this year's in­crease to "around three per­cent" from the pre­vi­ous seven per­cent, af­ter sales in the Jan­uary-June pe­riod gained just 1.43 per­cent year-on-year.

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