General Motors Corp's chief sales analyst has said the US Federal Reserve bank's interest rate cut on Tuesday (22 January) would boost consumer confidence and help the auto industry.

"We welcome those actions and feel they can have a positive effect on consumers," Mike DiGiovanni told analysts and reporters after GM's 2007 global sales announcement, Reuters reported.

The news agency noted that 'the Fed' had cut interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, helping to stabilise global markets worried by fears of a US recession.

"We were expecting a cut of 50 basis points," DiGiovanni said, according to Reuters. "And they cut 75 points, so it was more aggressive. It should help the auto industry face the headwinds of high gas prices, weak housing starts, the subprime mortgage crisis."

His comments echoed those made earlier at a Detroit auto industry conference by Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli who said the rate cut would help ease consumer confidence and boost auto sales this year.