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European transport markets slows

Brussels, Belgium: Registration of heavy truck fell 6.7% in April indicating a rapidly slowing economy in European, including the core Eurozone countries: Germany, France and the Netherlands.

The decline to 19,458 vehicles, reported by Brussels-based industry body ACEA, represented the third straight monthly decline and the second-worst so far this year.

Spain and Italy, two of the biggest markets, saw demand drop by 13.6% and 41.1%, respectively. “Anyone can see that the figures for Southern Europe fell through the roof. It’s a no brainer,” said one European truckmaker to Reuters.

Truck demand in France sank 6.8% while new registrations dropped 38.7% in the Netherlands. Germany, the biggest and healthiest economy in the euro zone, managed to eke out slight growth, while non-euro zone member the United Kingdom posted a healthy 12% gain.

ACEA also reported that registrations of new light commercial vehicles, mainly delivery vans used by craftsmen and small businesses, fell an even sharper 12.7% last month to 115,764 vehicles.

Heavy trucks and light commercial vehicles are capital goods whose sales are highly cyclical and typically reflect the flow of trade in goods and services. Registrations closely mirror sales with a slight time lag.