Belgium - 1998 car sales were at 6 year high
Passenger cars sales in Belgium rose by 6.7% in December to 20,839 from 19,531, which took the full year gain to 14.1% at 452,129 from 396,240. For both the month and the year the results were the best for six years. We would love to say how accurate our 1998 forecast had been, but this is one market that we did get wrong, and the market is very difficult to read with regard to prospects for 1999. GDP is expected to fall in Belgium during 1999 and industrial production is already being hit by falling exports to the Far East in particular. As the market stands today the 1999 total could stay quite high, maybe only settling back by a few thousand to 450,000, but there is a nagging suspicion that once the market starts to fall it will be quite a steep decline and so for the moment we will stick with 435,000 in 1999 and 420,000 in 2000.
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