New vehicle sales rise in July, headed for third straight annual record

Registrations of new vehicles rose 12 percent to 11,570 in July from the year earlier month.

New Zealand new vehicle sales rose in July, with continued monthly gains signalling a new annual record may be set this year.

Registrations of new vehicles rose 12 percent to 11,570 in July from the year earlier month, according to the Motor Industry Association.

Motor vehicle registrations in the first seven months of this year are 6.2 percent ahead of the same period last year at 80,704. That suggests vehicle sales may be headed for a third straight annual record this year, as the economy is buoyed by low interest rates and record migration and tourism.

"The strongest net immigration on record, healthy tourism sector and a generally robust economy continues to drive sales of new vehicles beyond that expected," MIA chief executive David Crawford said in a statement. At the start of the year, the MIA was expecting annual sales to soften in line with slower growth in the domestic economy.

The New Zealand economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the year through March, down from its 3.6 percent rate a year earlier and the 2.8 percent pace the previous year. The Reserve Bank forecasts growth will accelerate to a 3.2 percent pace in the year through March 2017.


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