BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's auto industry improved slightly in the third quarter of 2019 but overall it remained cool, according to an industrial climate index.
China's Auto Climate Index (ACI) was recorded at 9 for the third quarter, three points lower than the second quarter of this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
Despite the continued weak sentiment, the coincident composite index for the auto industry, which reflects the sector's current performance, rose 0.4 points to 82.14 in the third quarter, in comparison with the second quarter.
The CAAM said the auto industry's performance in the July-September period was better than the previous quarter, but the industrial climate is still fragile.
China's automobile sales and output for the first nine months declined by 10.3 percent and 11.4 percent year on year to 18.37 million and 18.15 million units, respectively, CAAM data showed.
The country also saw steady growth in new energy vehicle (NEV) sales and output. A total of 872,000 NEV cars were sold in the first nine months of 2019, up 20.8 percent year on year, while production surged 20.9 percent to 888,000 units.
The State Council, or China's cabinet, in August announced 20 measures to boost the country's consumption, as the country will ease restrictions on car purchases to support auto sales.
Regions with limits on vehicle purchases should roll out measures to relax or lift the restrictions and support the purchase of new energy vehicles, according to a guideline issued by the State Council.