* Sept car sales up 28 pct yr/yr, 34 pct mth/mth
* Rising middle class, low rates behind strong 2012 sales
* Motor show gives Sept figures an extra boost
By Rieka Rahadiana
JAKARTA, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s car sales jumped 28 percent in September to return to near record monthly numbers, as strong growth this year driven by a rising middle class and low interest rates got an extra boost in the wake of the country’s annual motor show.
Vehicle sales -- a key indicator of domestic consumer spending -- have surged since April, also helped by comparisons with a weak year in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami in Japan resulted in supply disruptions.
September sales were 102,111 vehicles, up 28 percent from a year earlier and climbing 34 percent from August, according to data from the Indonesia Automotive Industry Association.
They hit a record of 102,512 in July though growth in August had slowed substantially as the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday resulted in fewer working days.
“The increase in September was a combination of carry over in August and indent from new products during the Indonesia motor show. October will determine whether the sales continue picking up or slowing down,” said Juniman, chief economist at Bank Internasional Indonesia.
“Car makers are adjusting to the recent global economic situation by moving to emerging markets such as Indonesia, China and India,” he said.
Sales gains were led by Toyota Motor Corp, Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, the association said although it did not provide an immediate breakdown.
New requirements for higher downpayments did not have much of an impact on sales in September but may do in October, said Juniman, who expects industry-wide annual sales to reach 1.06 million vehicles this year.
Southeast Asia’s biggest economy saw exports and imports fall the most in three years in August, suggesting weakening third quarter growth.
Even so, the World Bank has revised its forecast for Indonesia’s economic growth in 2012 to 6.1 percent, from a previous forecast of 6.0 percent. It said that 2013 growth would be 6.3 percent against a 6.4 percent previous forecast.
Following is a table of car sales in 2011-2012, based on data from the association. Month Volume m/m y/y
(cars) Sept 102,111 33.6 27.9 Aug* 76,445 -25.4 4.3 Jul 102,512 0.8 15.1 Jun 101,746 6.5 45.0 May* 95,536 9.6 56.5 Apr* 87,144 -0.9 43.5 Mar* 87,919 1.7 7.0 Feb 86,482 13.2 24.3 Jan* 76,427 -4.9 3.3
Dec 80,325 18.7 14.7 Nov 67,655 -21.6 -2.3 Oct 86,345 8.2 24.8 Sep 79,832 8.9 62.4 Aug 73,279 -17.7 13.2
*official revisions (Reporting by Rieka Rahadiana; Writing by Matthew Bigg; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)