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Imported auto prices increase at faster rate

CHINA'S domestic auto prices were basically steady with a slight increase last month while imported vehicle prices rose at a faster rate, according to the price monitoring center under the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner.

The prices of domestic cars saw a month-on-month rise of 0.9 percent last month, while the year-on-year figure stood at 1.35 percent, said a recent report released on the commission's Website, based on a survey conducted in 36 large and mid-size cities in China.

The prices of imported vehicles rose 1.22 percent from the previous month, with an annual jump of 7.26 percent.

Passenger vehicle prices gained 0.93 percent month on month but dropped 2.77 percent year on year. Commercial vehicle prices maintained an upward trend, rising 0.98 percent month on month and 7.27 percent year on year.

Purchase tax

Analysts had attributed the continual rise in auto prices to the increasing demand in the domestic auto market, which was boosted by government stimulus policies. The surge in demand brought about growing sales in the first half, said Liu Lixi, an auto industry analyst at Northeast Securities.

China halved the purchase tax on passenger cars to 5 percent for models with an engine capacity of less than 1.6 liters and started a rebate program for auto buyers in rural areas early this year.

The auto sales in the country topped 1.14 million units last month, up 36.48 percent from a year earlier, the fourth month in a row surpassing the 1.1-million-unit mark, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

The government stimulus plan for the industry would maintain the balance between supply and demand and prices would remain steady, the commission predicted.


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