Slump in NZ new and used car sales bottoming out

Slump in NZ new and used car sales bottoming out
Used car sales showed further signs of a recovery in July with a 14% increase from June to 6,160 sales over the month, figures released by the New Zealand Transport Authority show. Year-on-year declines in used car sales have also been improving in recent months, with July sales 15% below July 2008 sales. This was the fifth consecutive month of improvement, from February sales which were 49% below those in February 2008. Discounting and a revival in bank lending across the economy are feeding some 'green shoots' of recovery and prompting some economists to forecast the recession could end as soon as the September quarter, although the Reserve Bank has promised to keep the Official Cash Rate at or below 2.5% until late 2010. New passenger vehicle sales in July rose 4% from June to 4,473. The year-on-year decline improved to 18% from 36% in June. Sales of new commercial vehicles fell 30% over the month to 1,267. The year-on-year declines for new commercial car sales in the first seven months of the year have all been above 30%, with an average fall of 36%. Total new car sales were down 6% from June. New car sales overall generally drop between June and July due to falls in commercial sales between the two months. The average drop over the previous seven years was 11%.

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