Spanish auto sales rise in August: trade data

1st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

New car sales in Spain rose by 5.9 percent from the record low volume sold during the same month last year, putting an end to 13 months of falling sales, industry data showed on Thursday.

A total of 47,224 new cars were sold last month compared to 44,578 in August 2010, the lowest number for that month since records began being kept in 1989, automakers' association Anfac said in a statement.

"The growth in the market in August does not reflect the real situation. The comparison is being done with a month which was the worst month of August in over 20 years," it said.

"Sales continued to be at levels which are very far from what they should be for the Spanish market. Moreover there is no factor in the short term that allows us to be a bit optimistic."

Over the first eight months of the year, total sales reached 568,354 units, a 22.2 percent drop over to the same period in 2010.

"There were almost no visits to auto stands in August. That gives you an idea of the serious situation which auto sales are in, one of the main indicators of consumption," the director of the automakers' association, Luis Valero, said in the statement.

The Spanish economy slumped into recession during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of a property bubble. It stabilised in 2010 but growth remains anemic.

Economic output grew 0.2 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months, after a 0.3-percent expansion in the first quarter.

The economic slowdown has caused the unemployment rate to soar to a European Union high of 20.89 percent in the second quarter, causing consumers to cut back on spending, especially on big ticket items like cars.

© 2011 AFP

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