New-car sales in the European Union rose 16% in May as continued strong demand and extra sales days helped the bloc post a 33rd straight month of growth.
New-car registrations, a proxy for sales, rose to 1.3 million vehicles in the EU in May from 1.1 million vehicles in the same month last year, according to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, or ACEA. It is the EU's largest jump in May sales in a decade though volume remains below the level reached before the 2008 financial crisis.
Italy, where consumer spending took a particularly hard hit during the financial crisis, posted a 27% gain in May, the strongest jump among major markets. France advanced 22%, Spain 21% and Germany, the EU's largest market, 12%. The U.K. gained 2.5%.
Earlier this month, ACEA boosted its full-year growth outlook to 5% from a previous forecast of 2% given in January.