By Jason Cadden
(Australian Associated Press)
More than a million new vehicles have been sold in Australia in the past 12 months, a sign that record low interest rates are encouraging people to make big ticket purchases.
New motor vehicles sales fell 3.6 per cent in October, after passing 100,000 for the first time the month before.
But, in the 12 months to October, they were up 4.2 per cent to 1.15 million, seasonally adjusted, the highest since the Australian Bureau of Statistics began issuing the data in 1994.
St George chief economist Hans Kunnen says strong vehicle sales is a good sign for the economy.
“The tail winds of low interest rates, a weaker Australian dollar and reasonable job growth suggest that sales of motor vehicles will expand moderately over the next 12 months,” he said.
CommSec chief economist Craig James said 2015 was set to be the strongest on record for the new car market.
“Annual new vehicle sales are at record highs, suggestive of underlying strength in business and consumer sentiment and finances,” he said.
“Consumer spending remains healthy – of particular encouragement to retailers.”
Sales of sports utility vehicles fell 2.6 per cent in October while passenger vehicles fell 7.6 per cent.