Brazil auto sales slow in July as consumers on edge
SAO PAULO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The pace of new vehicle sales in Brazil slipped in July, a market source with access to registration data said on Thursday, suggesting weaker consumer confidence has begun to catch up with the world's fourth-biggest auto market.
Car, truck and bus registrations fell below 15,000 per day last month for the first time since March. Total sales grew 7 percent from June to 342,300 vehicles due to three additional work days in the month. Auto sales fell 6 percent from July 2012.
President Dilma Rousseff's pledge to extend tax breaks for locally made cars through the end of the year has kept the auto industry on track for record sales and output, although sluggish economic growth is rattling other sectors.
A measure of consumer confidence tracked by think-tank Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) fell in July to its lowest level in more than four years as high inflation eroded purchasing power.
In the first seven months of the year, dealerships sold 2.14 million new vehicles, up 2.9 percent from the same period of 2012. National carmaker association Anfavea forecast sales to grow between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent this year to a new high.
Dealership group Fenabrave is scheduled to report official July sales figures on Friday.
More than 70 percent of sales in Brazil's car market are concentrated among Italy's Fiat SpA, Germany's Volkswagen AG, and U.S.-based General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.