The continent’s new vehicle registrations soared 1.4 percent last month, their slowest growth pace in six months as consumers confidence has been impacted by unemployment issues and the Greek sovereign debt crisis.
Deliveries inched by 1.4 percent to 1.15 million vehicles from 1.14 million during the same period last year, said the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, in a recently released statement. The increase across the overall market during the first five months of the year has reached 6.7 percent for a tally of six million units. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has decided to lower its worldwide economic-growth prediction at the start of the month, including due to weaker company spending as the risk of Greece hitting a debt default makes them weary. The overall consumer confidence across the 19 countries using the Euro currency has also gone down last month for the second consecutive time.
Still, May’s positive tally meant the European auto market rose for 21 straight months, even as the May increase was the second-slowest behind a 1.2 percent rise seen last November. The ACEA’s figures have gathered figures from 28 of the 29 European Union members, and from Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. “Adjusted for public holidays, the key markets are continuing their gain from a low base,” said Frank Biller, a Stuttgart, Germany-based analyst for LBBW. Among the top five European manufacturers, the only one to post an increase in May was Renault, which grew by 5.4 percent and sixth-ranked Fiat Chrysler managed to best the result with a 9 percent sales jump.