Chart of the week: Eurozone car sales flat for 10 months

Summary: Euro are car sales have moved sideways for ten months

What the chart shows: The chart shows sales of new cars in the euro area as well as in the four largest EA members, expressed as an index with the average for 2008=100

Why is the chart important: The biggest purchases of households, the ones for which they usually borrow money, tend to be cars and houses. For this reason, both purchases are excellent leading indicators of activity, in that they are usually only undertaken when they buyer is feeling optimistic. EA car sales data give rise to cautious optimism that economic activity in the single currency zone has bottomed out. However, there is still little or no sign of any sustained recovery.