• Kyodo

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Global auto sales are expected to rise 1 percent in 2017 from levels this year to nearly 90.59 million vehicles, a research firm has said.

The rise will reflect a recovery in demand from Asia and emerging economies in particular.

The increase in sales will offset a slump in advanced economies, Nakanishi Research Institute said.

“We forecast average global annual sales growth of 2.1 percent up to 2020,” said Takaki Nakanishi, chief executive officer of the institute.

Sales in the United States, the world’s second-biggest auto market after China, will remain flat at 17.2 million vehicles after years of higher growth, the institute said.

Japan is likely to see a 6 percent decrease in sales to 4.62 million cars. One factor is there will be no last-minute purchasing surge next year ahead of a planned tax hike. The government has pushed back the consumption tax hike from April 2017 to October 2019.

While sales in Western Europe are expected to increase 1 percent to 15.90 million cars, those in Britain will drop 10 percent to 2.67 million vehicles, on the back of its decision to leave the European Union, the institute said.

Slower Chinese economic growth will result in only a 2 percent increase in China to 27.21 million vehicles.

Sales in India will likely grow 8 percent to 3.99 million vehicles on an improving domestic economy.

Southeast Asian auto sales could bottom out this year. They are expected to steadily increase next year, with Thailand seeing a 8 percent rise to 749,000 vehicles and Indonesia marking a 9 percent increase to 1.19 million. Vietnam and the Philippines will also see growth, the research firm said.

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