Australian New Motor Vehicle Sales Surge Most in 4.5 Years

Australia’s New Motor Vehicle Sales for May surged ahead by the most since January 2005. The 5.4% increase continues to add positive signs to April’s figure that the economy’s downturn may have bottomed out. Indeed, just prior to this two-month streak, 8 of the previous 9 months saw the number of new vehicles sold actually contract. The move comes after the country’s Q1 gross domestic product revealed itself to actually increase by 0.4%. Expectations had called for a contraction of -0.2%. Labor market weakness surprised economists, falling 0.2 percentage points to 5.4% in April, only to have it rise to 5.7% in May.