PARIS Feb 6 Western European car sales rose 9.5
percent in January on buoyant demand in France, Germany and
Italy, according to industry data compiled by LMC Automotive.
Registrations last month came to 1.11 million vehicles, the
consulting firm said on Monday, based on a combination of
national data and estimates for some smaller markets.
"The West European car market is out of the blocks well in
2017," LMC analyst Emiliano Lewis told Reuters. January's
performance "suggests another year of growth in car
registrations," he added.
The advance lifted the seasonally adjusted annualized rate
of sales by 2 percent from December levels to 14.66 million
cars, LMC said, a pace "the likes of which has not been seen
since 2008". The annualized rate is expected to ease off later
in the year, however.
January car registrations posted year-on-year gains of 10.5
percent in Germany, 10.6 percent in France and 10.1 percent in
Italy, according to separately published national data. UK sales
advanced by a more modest 3 percent, the SMMT indutry group said
earlier on Monday.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)