Australian consumers are buying new cars at a record rate

Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

New motor vehicle sales hit a new high in June, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Data for June showed the sale of 102,775 new motor vehicles in seasonally adjusted terms. It represents a gain of 1.2% from the previous monthly record of 101,074, with car sales growing at an annual rate of 3.6%.

While only one measure of growth in domestic consumption, new car purchases have remained consistently strong in 2017.

It suggests that while consumers may be doing it tough with the combination of low wage growth and high mortgage costs, perhaps it’s not all bad news when it comes to consumer sentiment in Australia.

That being said, the latest results are likely to have got a boost from end of financial year sales in the auto industry.

In absolute terms, there were 134,171 new car sales in June 2017, compared to 128,569 in June 2016.

The June data showed the continued shift in preference towards sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

In seasonally adjusted terms, SUV purchases exceeded 40,000 for the first time and there were more SUV buyers in June than there were buyers of new passenger vehicles.

Across each state in seasonally adjusted terms, Victoria recorded a 2.2% increase in new car purchases from the prior month.

There was a 1.8% increase in Queensland, while WA reported a 1% decrease. All other states reported a minimal change in monthly sales.

Total new car sales for the year amounted to 1,179,545 vehicles.

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