China vehicle sales rise for fourth straight month - industry body

BEIJING, Oct 12 (Reuters) - China’s vehicles sales rose in September for the fourth consecutive month, an industry body said on Thursday, underscoring growing momentum in the world’s largest auto market after a slower start to the year.

Overall sales touched 2.71 million vehicles in September, up 5.7 percent from a year ago, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed. That took year-to-date sales to 20.2 million vehicles, up 4.5 percent.

In January, CAAM predicted sales would rise 5 percent this year, slowing from 13.7 percent in 2016, citing the scaling back of a tax incentive for small-engine vehicles as well as economic pressure.

Recent sales have been relatively strong - growing 5.3 percent in August, 6.2 percent in July and 4.5 in June - underpinned by stronger overall economic growth and increased incentives for buyers, market watchers said. (Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu and Cheng Fang; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)