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Colombia Car Sales Decline in July for Third-Straight Month

BOGOTA–Colombian vehicle sales in July fell 2.6% compared with a year ago, the third-straight month of year-on-year monthly declines, as the country’s once-robust economy continues to slow down.

Preliminary data released Friday by the industry group Comite Automotor indicated 26,105 units were sold last month, compared with 26,799 units sold in July 2011. Last month’s sales were the lowest since April.

Last year, a record 324,750 vehicle were sold. Through the first seven months of this year, sales are 1.0% higher than that period of 2011 at 186,936 units sold.

Colombia’s economy, after growing a strong 5.9% in 2011, slowed to a 4.7% year-on-year expansion in the first quarter, and Colombia’s central bank says it expects growth to moderate even further in the coming quarters. The economy could expand about 4% this year, the bank says, due in part to a global economic slowdown that has reduced global prices for oil, Colombia’s most important source of revenue.

Comite Automotor’s statistics cover more than 90% of the vehicles sold in Colombia, including buses, private vehicles, taxis and trucks.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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