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New car sales in Russia seen slowing in 2019: AEB

Reuters  |  MOSCOW 

By Stolyarov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Sales of new cars in are expected to rise 3.6 percent this year to 1.87 million, marking a slowdown from last year's surge, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group said on Monday.

New in 2018 rose 12.8 percent year on year, while the number of new cars sold in December was 5.6 percent higher than in the same month the year before, AEB said.

The market is unlikely to keep up last year's double-digit growth because of uncertainties stemming from this year's VAT hike to 20 percent and the threat of the imposing new sanctions on Russia, the lobby group said.

Automakers warned last year that the plan to raise VAT would hit car sales, which had started to recover from four years of stagnation.

The group said that strong prior year sales would hamper a strong start in 2019, while it was also unclear what kind of support measures, if any, the government might pursue.

The group said it saw "better chances for growth again in the second half, as fundamental market demand should be robust enough to offset uncertainty."

(Reporting by Stolyarov; Writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Louise Heavens)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 16:10 IST