New commercial vehicle sales in Europe fell almost 11 percent (10.8 pct) in the first half of 2012 the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) announced Thursday.
In addition, registrations of new commercial vehicles fell 5.8 percent year-on-year to 157,232 units in June, marking the fifth successive decrease in sales.
Italy (-29.8%) and Spain (-28.7%) faced a double-digit downturn, while France (-0.8%) and the UK (+0.2%) remained relatively stable.
Germany remains the only market in Europe to post growth (+8.8%).
However Germany’s private sector shrank for a third straight month in July in a second blow to Europe’s largest economy after Moody’s cut its credit rating to AAA with a negative outlook.
Economists say the German economy may head into recession later this year, as it is likely its GDP fell in the second quarter, and Tuesday’s data points to another decline in the third quarter.
Global markets have been roiled by a sudden surge in Spain’s borrowing costs to well above 7 percent, a level that is likely unaffordable if sustained and could force Europe’s fourth-biggest economy to seek a monumentally expensive financial rescue.
Greece is also back in focus because of the possibility it will miss government deficit reduction targets that are a condition of the European and IMF bailout that kept the country from defaulting on its debt mountain and leaving the euro common currency.