China's June auto sales fall, extending year-old decline

BEIJING — China says auto sales fell 7.8% in June amid a trade fight with Washington and slower economic growth, extending a year-old contraction that is squeezing automakers as they spend on developing electric cars.

An industry group said Wednesday drivers in the global industry's biggest market bought 1.7 million SUVs, sedans and minivans.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said total purchases in the first six months of 2019 fell 14 percent from a year earlier to 10.1 million vehicles. That was below industry forecasts of flat to slightly lower growth.

Jittery consumers are less willing to make big purchases amid unease about China's economic outlook. Growth in the second-largest global economy held steady in the latest quarter but that was supported by government spending and higher bank lending.

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