German new-car sales fall 2% in June on fewer work days

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BERLIN (Reuters) -- New-car sales in Germany declined 2 percent in June, held back by fewer working days than a year ago, the VDA auto-industry association said today.

Registrations fell to 277,600 vehicles, the second drop in the past seven months, slowing the year-to-date gain to 2 percent or 1.54 million autos, VDA said.

Adjusted for work days, car sales rose slightly in June, the association said and it reaffirmed its outlook for a slight improvement in German car sales this year.

June contained one less working day than the same month last year due to the Pentecost and Corpus Christi holidays, the latter of which is celebrated only in parts of the country, a VDA spokeswoman said.

"Germany's auto-market recovery remains intact," said Hanover-based NordLB analyst Frank Schwope. "The holiday factor weighed on June results."

The drop in Germany, though due to statistical effects, contrasts with a recovery elsewhere in Europe where three of the region's five top markets -- France, Italy and Spain – all reported gains on Tuesday. French registrations grew 3 percent in the month, while in Italy vehicles sales were up 4 percent. In Spain, sales surged 24 percent as government subsidies continued to stimulate growth.

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