A total of 7'367 private vehicles had their number plates registered in the Balearics in May this year, an increase of 19.94 percent in comparison with the same month in 2003. This is one of the biggest increases in the country. So far this year, the number of private cars registered on the Islands has gone up to 28'861 vehicles, 16.73 pecent more than during the first five months of the previous year. Catalonia, however, reported a 7.3 percent fall in May of the number of private cars officially registered, showing a final figure of 19'896.
Nevertheless, this is not the trend shown in other regions of the country which have come up with the second highest May figures in recorded history.
According to information made available by the national manufacturers' association (Anfac), authorised dealers association (Faconauto) and retailers association (Ganvam), the month of May closed with 131'495 private cars having their number plates registered, 8.94 percent up on May 2003. The figure represents an annual accumulation of 14.54 percent, translated as 631'194 newly registered cars.
Falling into the same category as Catalonia with a registered decrease in the number of new numberplates in comparison to May last year, are the other exceptions of Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish self-governing cities in North Africa, with 5.09 percent less than the same month last year. The rest of the regions of the country have experienced growth in this industry, in most cases of more than a 2-digit percentage. Exceptions to the rule with only slight percentage rises in newly matriculated cars, are Galicia and Cantabria, amongst others, with 1.57 percent in the first case and 3.92 percent in the second. The largest single percentage increase was highlighted in one of the areas where there is the least volume of private cars, that of La Rioja, with 35.84 percent growth in May 2003 (633 units), followed by the Balearics, with 19.94 percent (7'367 units) and Murcia, with 19.92 percent (3'353 units). Of the four markets with the greatest volume of registered cars, (more than 10'000 units) those of Andalucia and Madrid have had the best growth, with rates of 18.72 percent (19'317 units) and 4.22 percent (31'055 units). Valencia, with 16'759 units, closed the month showing a light growth of 4.67 percent and 16'759 cars with registered number plates.

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