• Kyodo

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Sales of new vehicles in Japan are projected to fall 2.0 percent in fiscal 2019 to 5.22 million units amid growing economic uncertainty, according to an industry body.

The projected sales for the next fiscal year compare with 5.33 million units estimated for the current fiscal year ending March 31, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Monday.

Excluding minivehicles, sales are estimated to fall 0.5 percent to 3.35 million units in the business year that starts next Monday, the association said.

Minivehicle sales are projected to fall 4.5 percent to 1.87 million units.

The association sees a limited impact in the next fiscal year from the planned consumption tax increase in October, as last-minute purchases before the hike would be offset by subsequent sales declines.

The consumption tax is scheduled to be raised from 8 percent to 10 percent.

By type of vehicle, passenger car sales are expected to fall 1.5 percent to 4.37 million units in fiscal 2019, while truck sales are projected to drop 4.4 percent to 842,000 units. Sales of buses are expected to decline 1.5 percent to 13,400 units.

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