By Daniel Hunter

New car registrations rose 9.3% in July to 143,884 units — the fifth monthly gain in a row and the best of 2012, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Further to that registrations over the first seven months have risen more than 40,000 units or 3.5% to 1,201,564 units.

The improved data has prompted SMMT to revise up its full year forecast for 2012 to 1.97 million units, compared with 1.94 million in 2011.

“New car registrations rose 9.3% in July, continuing the upward trend seen during recent months. SMMT’s full year forecast is for 1.97 million cars to be registered during 2012 suggesting a slight slowing of demand in the second half of the year,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.

“International economic stability remains a concern for vehicle manufacturers and the UK market, but intense competition and new fuel efficient products are creating great opportunities for motorists.”

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