Thursday, February 9, 2012

China car sales point to a slowdown

Staying on the subject of China's economy, signs of a slowdown are now quite visible in vehicle sales. Auto sales are down almost 27% year-over-year and 7.6% quarter-over-quarter according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

# of units and % YoY (Source: JPMorgan)

At least a portion of this decline is due to the gradual phasing out of tax breaks on car purchases implemented after the 08 crisis. In addition there is a seasonal impact of this year's timing of Chinese New Year holidays that distorts the results. There are also some restrictions on auto purchases in several larger cities. Nevertheless the trend may be pointing to a pause in consumer spending and a potential slowdown in economic growth.
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