Moody’s report forecasts bleak year for UK car sales

A report from credit agency Moody’s, featured in the Financial Mail on Sunday, predicts that car sales in the UK in 2018 will be the worst in Europe with sales of new cars expected to fall by -5.5 per cent.

By contrast, sales in other European countries will rise, with year-on-year growth of 4.7 per cent in Spain, 4 per cent (Germany), 2.8 per cent (France) and 2.5 per cent (Italy).

Matthias Hellstern, corporate finance MD for Moody’s manufacturing division, is quoted as saying that the falling value of Sterling since the Brexit referendum may have made British buyers think twice about spending money on a new car, with the weak Pound causing prices of imported cars to rise. Another factor is the uncertainty over Brexit.

Other analysts are predicting a growth in GDP for the UK during 2018 of a modest 0.6 per cent and there are fears of a consumer-led recession.

The car market is not the only one to suffer, as house prices fell last month for the first time in six months as home owners expect interest rates to rise later in the year. Retail sales have also been slow; affected not only by economic factors, but by the recent snow and bad weather.

Going back to the Moody’s report, the UK is the only market in Europe where car sales are expected to decline in 2018.

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