Thursday, April 09, 2009

China: Record Auto Sales, Now Number 1 Auto Market

by Calculated Risk on 4/09/2009 05:51:00 PM

From The Times: China bucks trend with new record in car sales

... Chinese people ... bought 1.10 million vehicles in March, up some five per cent from the previous record of 1.06 million in March last year, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.

The number cemented China in its position as the world’s largest car market, outstripping even the US.
Growth in sales had slowed in 2008 to its lowest annual rate in more than a decade as the global financial crisis took its toll towards the end of the year, prompting many Chinese to keep their wallets shut tight in case of more problems ahead. However, the government support measures introduced in February have spurred the market.

For more on China, from Roubini: China’s Economy in 2009 and Beyond
[T]here are greater signs of economic recovery in March from the depths of Q4 2008 and most forward looking indicators suggest that Q2 2009 through Q4 2009 growth will accelerate relative to the dismal Q4 of 2008 and weak Q1 of 2009. In particular, economic data for China (including loan growth, the PMI, recovery in residential sales volume – if not prices, and public investment) do point to a stabilization or even slight improvement but we at RGE Monitor still see risks that Chinese growth will be well below the government target of 8% and even below the 6.5% level that the IMF and World Bank are predicting – a figure of 5-6% seems more likely.
Bob_in_MA also recommends: China Financial Markets by Michael Pettis, a professor at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management.