New vehicle sales in the Philippines increased by 4.8% to 29,038 units in April, from 27,697 units in the same month of last year, according to a data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

The CAMPI/TMA data did not include sales of non-affiliated brands, including Hyundai, Chevrolet and Subaru, which together accounted for around 20% of last year's 453,000-strong total market.

The pace of growth in April slowed sharply from the 31% year on year sales rise in the previous month, reflecting with passenger vehicle sales slightly weaker at 9,862 units. The association's president Rommel Gutierrez attributed this slowdown to fewer working days in April due to the Easter holidays.

Vehicle sales in the first four months of the year rose by over 18% to 123,064 units, from 104,170 in the same period of last year. Sales of passenger vehicles were up by just 5.3% at 41,813 units in this period, from 39,710 a year earlier, while commercial vehicles sales rose by over 26% to 81,251 units from 64,460 units previously.

The country's GDP growth was among highest in the region last year at 6.8% and is widely expected to stay above 6% this year, with low interest rates continuing to drive domestic consumption.