PARIS (Reuters) -- French car sales fell 4 percent in October as consumers put off big purchases amid weakening economic confidence, the country's CCFA industry association said today.
Registrations fell to 160,162 cars last month, the CCFA said -- the first year-on-year decline since February after adjusting for the number of selling days each month.
"We're in a context where all the indicators are pointing to the postponement of purchasing, falling confidence and deflation risk," association spokesman Francois Roudier said. "This is the perfect illustration."
France has lagged behind Europe's fragile auto market recovery following a brutal six-year slump that ended in 2013. French car sales for the first 10 months of this year are up just 1 percent.
Roudier said the CCFA's 2 percent full-year growth forecast would be reviewed in coming weeks.
After two consecutive quarters of zero economic growth, French companies and consumers alike are holding back on spending where they can, increasing concerns that Europe could fall into a deflationary spiral.