BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- European sales of new cars tumbled to a 15-year low last year, carmakers said Thursday, as recession fears saw people hold off big purchases.
The EU car manufacturers' association ACEA said car sales in December were down nearly 18 percent from the same month in 2007. Demand for the entire year fell 7.8 percent across the region -- the worst decline since 1993, it said.
Meanwhile, falling yearly inflation in euro nations -- confirmed Thursday at 1.6 percent in December -- should give the European Central Bank the room to reduce interest rates later Thursday to try and stoke growth.
The EU statistics agency Eurostat said inflation fell back from 2.1 percent in November as prices for transport fuel and heating oil dropped from a year ago.