FRANKFURT (MNI) – New passenger car registrations in Germany in
October were slightly above the previous-year level, but nine-month
results still showed an annual decline, the carmaker association VDIK
reported Thursday.

The association said nearly 260,000 new cars were registered during
the month, up 0.5% from October 2011.

For the first three quarters of 2012, car registrations were down
1.6% from the previous-year period to 2.62 million. Diesel car
registrations, making up 48% of the total, were up 1.5% in the first
nine months and have been a stabilizing factor for the market, VDIK

Expectations of stable employment and slowing inflation underpinned
German households’ willingness to spend this month, a recent GfK Group
survey showed. Current developments in the banking sector also played a
role, GfK added.

“Ongoing uncertainty about further developments in the banking
industry combined with an historically low interest rate level are not
the best conditions for saving,” the market research firm said.
“Instead, consumers are tending to invest their money in higher value
purchases rather than bank deposits.”

Echoing GfK’s findings, a European Commission survey noted the
likelihood of households making a major purchase up slightly in October,
while their intentions of buying a car in the near term still above

However, with unemployment rising for the fifth consecutive month
in October and payroll jobs down for the first time in over two years,
jobless fears could start to tick back up, thereby curbing households’
desire to spend.

— Frankfurt bureau: +49 69 720 142; email: —