PARIS -- Western European car sales rose 9.5 percent in January on buoyant demand in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, according to industry data compiled by LMC Automotive.
Registrations last month came to 1.11 million vehicles, the consulting firm said on Monday, based on a combination of national data and estimates for some smaller markets.
"The West European car market is out of the blocks well in 2017," LMC analyst Emiliano Lewis told Reuters. January's performance "suggests another year of growth in car registrations," he added.
The advance lifted the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales by 2 percent from December levels to 14.6 million cars, LMC said, a pace "the likes of which has not been seen since 2008." The annualized rate is expected to ease off later in the year, however.
January car registrations posted year-on-year gains of 11 percent in Germany, France and Spain and 10 percent in Italy, according to separately published national data. UK sales advanced by a more modest 3 percent, the SMMT industry group said on Monday.