Europe: Commercial Vehicles registrations down 9.6pct in Q1, 12pct in March image

New commercial vehicle sales in Europe fell almost 12 percent in March (11.8 percent) to 184,235 units, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association reports.

On the same time, over the first quarter of 2012, demand for commercial vehicles was down 9.6 percent compared to the same quarter a year earlier.

In March, with the exception of Germany, all other significant markets shrank, from -7.0% in the UK to -11.2% in France, -22.1% in Spain and -45.4% in Italy, while in the first quarter new registrations fell by 1.0% in Germany, 5.8% in France, 8.9% in the UK, 22.6% in Spain and 36.1% in Italy.

Euro zone confidence weakened across the board – from consumers to industry – in April, with the business sentiment index falling to a 14-month low.

Overall, only around 50 percent of European companies that have reported first quarter results to-date have met or beaten analysts’ forecasts, compared to some 83 percent in the US S&P 500, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.

The indicator suggests that the contraction expected for the region’s economy in the first quarter could continue in the current period, supporting warnings that the currency bloc could show an economic contraction for the year as a whole.

New Light Commercial Vehicles up to 3.5t – “vans”: March: 151,007 vehicles -13.8% | Q1: 368,763 vehicles -11.2%

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles over 16t: March: 21,913 vehicles -4.1% | Q1 56,135 new vehicles -3.1%

New Commercial Vehicles over 3.5t: March: 29,856 units -3.4% | Q1: 74,702 new trucks -2.4%