Registrations slump

NEW vehicle registrations are at the lowest level since July 1997 and have continued to fall since the most recent peak in February 1999, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The trend estimate for for total new Australian vehicle registrations was 59,982 in September, reflecting a fall of almost 10,000 registrations from the same month a year ago.

WA registrations fell 16 per cent, or 1,063

vehicles, compared to September 1998 and was 3.5 per cent down on August 1999.

The drop in vehicle registrations results from

a decline in passenger vehicles purchased, while demand for commercial vehicles remained unchanged.

Industry observers believe the decline is likely to continue until the introduction of the GST, when prices are expected to decline, unless the government steps in to ease the transition to a GST by lowering the wholesale sales tax on

vehicles now.

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