ECONOMY

Car sales down 42 percent in Jan.-June

Aggravating a sector that is already reeling from the impact of the economic crisis, car sales fell by 42 percent in the first half of this year, according to figures made public by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (Elstat).

According to Elstat, 12,444 cars (both new and used) joined Greek roads in June, a drop of 32.2 percent compared to June 2010. In the first six months of this year, the number of cars to roll onto Greek roads for the first time was 72,048, a drop of 42 percent compared to the same period last year.

The purchase of motorcycles and scooters has also been hit with Elstat noting a reduction of 28.4 percent in sales in June and 23.5 percent in the first six months of the year.

The economic crisis is also believed to have led to a reduction of congestion on Greek roads as a growing number of motorists use their cars less as shrinking household incomes limit their budget for gasoline.