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China car sales fall 11.7 percent in October, down fourth straight month

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s automobile sales fell 11.7 percent in October from a year earlier, the country’s top auto industry association said on Friday, marking the fourth straight month of declining sales in the world’s largest auto market.

The sales drop to 2.38 million vehicles comes amid broader slowing economic growth and a biting trade war between China and the United States. It follows an 11.6 percent drop in September and a 3.8 percent fall in August.

The October drop set a record for the steepest monthly fall since a 26.4 percent tumble in January 2012, which was in part due to the timing of the China New Year holiday that year.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said overall sales for the first 10 months of the year totalled 22.87 million vehicles, down 0.1 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The industry body did not immediately give a reason for the drop in October, but last month cited the impact a sluggish economy and the trade war are having on sales.

(Reporting by Pei Li in Beijing, Yilei Sun and Adam Jourdan in Shanghai; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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