Sales of China-made automobiles continued to post strong growth in April, although economic prospects remained blurred in the world's second-largest economy, an industry report showed Thursday.
A total of 1.84 million vehicles were sold last month in China, a rise of 13.38 percent compared to a year ago, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers at a press conference.
The auto sector was among the first industries to show signs of recovery from the domestic economic slowdown, the association said.
In the first four months of 2013, auto sales increased 13.23 percent year on year to reach 7.27 million units in China, the world's largest auto producer and market, according to the figures.
Official data showed that the country's first-quarter economic growth unexpectedly dipped to 7.7 percent, falling short of market expectations.
The Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures manufacturing activity in China, fell to 50.6 percent in April from 50.9 percent in March, further pointing to weakness in the economy's recovering strength. A reading above 50 percent indicates expansion, while a reading below that level indicates contraction.
Auto production increased 15.29 percent to a total of 1.9 million units in April, bringing the total output of vehicles to 7.27 million in the January-April period, the figures showed.
About 1.44 million passenger cars were sold across the country Last month, up 13 percent from a year ago, while sales of commercial cars climbed 14.9 percent to around 400,000.
Sales of the country's top 10 automakers grew 14.4 percent year on year in the first four months, with the Shanghai-based SAIC Motor selling the most vehicles in the period, the figures showed.