New cars offer glimpse of hope on economy

New car registrations rose marginally in January, showing what manufacturers and dealers described as a “stabilizing trend” for a bellwether consumer market.

The total rose by 42 units to 128,853, or 0.03 per cent more than in January 2010, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said on Monday.

Cars registered by private buyers rose by 2.7 per cent – the first increase in several months – and outstripped registrations by fleet buyers, who have been supporting the market recently. Registrations from this group were up just 0.3 per cent on a year ago.

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