Forecast: French new car sales down at least 10% in January image

France new car sales posted a “double-digit” decline in January as the phasing out of a scrappage bonus boosted registrations in early 2011, newspaper La Tribune’s website reports Tuesday.

Registrations of Renault-branded cars fell 45%, while sales of Peugeot cars declined 37% and Citroen fell 31%, La Tribune reports.

The French government on Monday halved its 2012 growth forecast, piling more pressure on Nicolas Sarkozy a day after the president unveiled a raft of measures he hopes will jumpstart the economy.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast growth of just 0.2 percent for France this year, while a Reuters poll of economists predicted a slender 0.1 percent.

However, country’s Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the country’s economy was expected to return to growth, along with the euro itself, during the first half of next year, Reuters reports. No further austerity measures would be required, he added.

The main CCFA automakers’ association is due to publish French monthly vehicle registrations on Wednesday.