China's new car sales rise year-on-year in April, but demand still weak

New vehicle sales in China rose over 80 percent in April from a year earlier, marking the third straight monthly increase. But the figure declined from March, indicating that demand remains weak.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says that nearly 2.16 million new vehicles were sold in April, up 82.7 percent from the same month last year.

The major increase is due to sluggish sales a year earlier, as a result of coronavirus lockdowns imposed in Shanghai and other cities.

But the April figure marks an 11.9 percent drop from the previous month. This shows that although China's economy is picking up, the recovery is not as strong or widespread as had been expected.

The Association says demand in the automobile market remains weak, and effective government policy programs will be needed to expand consumption.

On the other hand, sales of electric and other "new-energy vehicles" are still strong in China. A total of 636,000 units were sold in April, more than double the figure for the same month last year.