LONDON -- New-car registrations in Britain fell 3.4 percent in May on a year ago, a report said on Monday, the latest evidence that a series of interest rate rises up to last August have dented Britons' appetite for major purchases.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said there were 187,900 new car registrations last month. That compares with 179,457 units in April, which were down 4 percent on the same month last year.
Year to date registrations were down 6 percent, at 1,068,862 compared with 1,137,488 at the same time last year.
SMMT, which is predicting a 4.6 percent decline in car registrations for the full year 2005, said the slowdown was generally in line with expectations.
"This month's figures remain stable, despite a slight dip compared to last year's near record levels. The industry is proving resilient as it rides out weakening consumer confidence and the short-term problems associated with MG Rover," said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan in a release.