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Australia new vehicle sales jump in February, led by surging SUVs

[SYDNEY] Australian new vehicle sales jumped by the most in at least a year in February thanks to booming demand for sports utilities, perhaps one side effect of falling petrol prices, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

The ABS data showed 95,737 new vehicles were sold in February, seasonally adjusted, up 2.9 per cent from January when sales had fallen 1.9 per cent.

Sales were also 4.1 per cent higher on February last year.

The pick up was led by a huge 10.5 per cent surge in sales of sports utility vehicles to a record 33,516 in February. Sales of passenger vehicles extended their long decline with a drop of 0.9 per cent, while other vehicles including trucks dipped 0.3 per cent.

REUTERS