PARIS (Reuters) -- French, Spanish and Italian car sales rose in June while the German market slowed down, held back by fewer working days than a year ago.
Sales in Germany declined 2 percent to 277,600 last month but adjusted for work days, car sales rose slightly, the VDA industry association said.
French registrations grew 3 percent in the month, while in Italy vehicle sales were up 4 percent. In Spain, sales surged 24 percent.
In Germany, the VDA reaffirmed its outlook for a slight improvement in 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."
Six-month German sales are up 2 percent to 1.54 million autos.
The rise in French registrations brought first half gains to 3 percent, the Paris-based CCFA carmakers' association said. The CCFA raised its full-year growth forecast for the French market to 2 percent from earlier expectations that the market would be flat this year.
"Taking account of the current economic realities we nonetheless maintain a certain prudence about the passenger car market in 2014," association head Patrick Blain told reporters on Tuesday.
Renault posted a 25-percent gain in domestic sales last month on the strength of demand for its Captur subcompact crossover and the Dacia Duster.
Rival PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's deliveries fell 2 percent, weighed down by a 9 percent decline at Citroen. Ford Motor, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen also lost ground. But French demand for luxury cars picked up, with BMW and Daimler recording gains of 25 and 17 percent respectively in June after declines in previous months.
In Spain, the June surge was the a tenth consecutive month of year-on-year gains. The Spanish market is rebounding from record lows with 18-percent first-half growth. Sales are being boosted by the renewal of state-backed sales subsidies for buyers who trade in older vehicles.