UK car sales fall for 8th month running; anger over rail fares rise – business live

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Britain’s car industry has suffered another month of declining sales, as economic uncertainty and the diesel crisis hit demand for new motors.

Industry figures due out this morning are expected to show that sales slumped in November, possibly by as much as 11%.

Such a sharp decline would crush any lingering hopes that the market could avoid its first annual decline since 2011.

Diesel sales are expected to bear the brunt of the decline, as the recent emissions scandal continues to hit confidence..

As Reuters explains:

New car registrations in Britain fell by around 11% in November, the eighth consecutive month that sales have declined, according to preliminary numbers from an industry body.

The sales have reflected caution among consumers faced by arise in inflation since the Brexit vote in 2016 and weak wage growth, as well as concerns that the government would clamp down on diesel vehicles to curb pollution.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders were expected to show diesel car sales fell sharply again.

Britain will increase tax on diesel cars that do not meet more stringent emissions standards, finance minister Philip Hammond said last month.

Also coming up today….

Data firm Markit is publishing its PMI reports for the world’s service sector companies.

They’re likely to show solid growth in Europe and the UK, as CMC Market’s Michael Hewson explains:

Starting with Europe we have the latest services PMI’s from Spain, Italy, France and Germany. It is expected that we’ll see improvements across the board with readings of 55.2, 53.4, 60.2 and 54.9, with France outperforming strongly from an October number of 57.3.

On the data front, having seen two decent numbers on manufacturing and construction PMI’s for November, it is hoped that today’s services number will complete a nice hat-trick, though expectations are for a bit of a slowdown from Octobers 55.6 to a number in the region of 55.2.

European stock markets are expected to inch higher, after the US Dow Jones index hit another record high last night. Tech shares did fall yesterday, though,

But the pound could be volatile, after Theresa May’s attempts to pull off a Brexit breakthrough yesterday floundered on the rocks of opposition from Northern Ireland’s DUP.


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December 4, 2017

The agenda

9am GMT: UK car sales figures for November

9am GMT: Eurozone service sector purchasing managers index (PMI) for November

9.30am GMT: UK service sector PMI for November

10am GMT: Eurozone retail sales

3pm GMT: US service sector PMI