Germany’s government declined to comment on a newspaper report it plans to extend by up to EUR1bn incentives offered to consumers to boost car sales.

The Rheinische Post, citing a government source, said ministries involved had agreed to top up the amount available for the incentives if the EUR1.5bn already put aside had been used up by mid-April, as expected.

The government is currently offering EUR2,500 as an incentive to trade in vehicles over nine years old for new models with lower emissions, noted Reuters.

New car sales in Germany last month rose 21% year on year, the first growth in six months.

The paper said there was a “ministry wide agreement” that the measures to help the car industry would be extended and leaders of Germany’s coalition parties could formally approve the step after Easter.

A government spokesman and spokespeople at the ministries involved declined to comment on the report.