Retail in Asia

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China’s Mar car sales growth cools on slowing economy

Car sales in China climbed a modest 4.5 percent in March from a year earlier, pulling back sharply from a hefty gain in February, as a slowing economy and higher fuel prices kept customers away from showrooms.

Sales declined 1.3 percent in the first quarter, in a downtrend that started in January when automakers and dealers cut working hours during China‘s lunar new year holiday.

Weak sentiment may continue into the second quarter, but new car launches planned for after the weeklong Beijing auto show, which kicks off on 23 April, will bolster auto sales, industry observers say.