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India just posted the worst car sales data in eight years

Passenger vehicle sales in April fell 17.1% to 247,541 units from a year earlier, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed.

business Updated: May 13, 2019 17:13 IST
Bloomberg
Bloomberg
Sales of cars and SUVs,SUVs,Car sale
Sales of cars and SUVs in India slumped the most since October 2011, adding to a slew of bad news that points to a slowdown in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.(Hindustan Times)

Sales of cars and SUVs in India slumped the most since October 2011, adding to a slew of bad news that points to a slowdown in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Passenger vehicle sales in April fell 17.1% to 247,541 units from a year earlier, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed. Car sales slumped almost 20%, while overall automobile sales dropped 16%.

“The not-so-happy news continues,” Vishnu Mathur, the director general of SIAM, told reporters in New Delhi on Monday, referring to a decline in discretionary purchases from fast-moving consumer goods to travel and tourism. “The sentiment in the market is not very good.”

The slowdown isn’t limited to car sales. Air traffic in India, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market last year, expanded at the slowest pace in almost six years in March, while demand for bank loans grew at 13.2% in March from a year ago, slowing from the 14.5% pace seen in February, according to central bank data. Hindustan Unilever Ltd., India’s largest maker of consumer staples, recently reported March quarter revenue growth of just 7%, the weakest in 18 months.

Economic growth in India slowed to 6.6 percent in the three months to December, the slowest pace in six quarters, amid weak consumption and a crisis in the shadow-banking sector. The next pulse check for the economy comes on May 31, when gross domestic product for the quarter ended March is due.

First Published: May 13, 2019 17:13 IST