Australia new vehicle sales second highest on record in May
SYDNEY, June 18
SYDNEY, June 18 (Reuters) - Sales of new motor vehicles in Australia rebounded by 2.4 percent in May, from a dip the prior month, to reach the second highest monthly result on record, a sign that consumers remained confident enough to splash out on big-ticket items.
Government figures showed new vehicle sales rose to 91,994 in May, from an upwardly revised 89,812 in April, on a seasonally adjusted basis. That was the highest total since the all-time high of 92,178 hit in April 2010.
Sales of sports utility vehicles extended their meteoric run with an increase of 3.0 percent in May to a record peak of 25,447, leaving them a huge 55.5 percent higher than the same month last year.
Sales of passenger vehicles rose 2.3 percent in the month, while sales of other vehicles rose 2.1 percent.
Industry data out early in the month showed sales up 24 percent on May last year, with sales of SUV's climbing almost 57 percent.
The strength of auto sales sits at odds with grim readings of consumer sentiment, suggesting actually household spending is not as soft as some surveys imply.
Consumption beat all forecasts in the first quarter of the year as Australians spent big on a range of services from education to health and eating out.
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