Increase in new car sales and housing finance Mon 15 October 2012 Lara Giddings Premier An increase in housing finance and new car sales has been welcomed as a positive sign of confidence returning to the Tasmanian economy. The Premier, Lara Giddings, said new car sales increased by 2.5 per cent in trend terms in September, while housing finance is up 2.3 per cent. The increase in new car sales was the highest in the country. "For most of us, buying a house and a new car are the two biggest investments we will make in our lifetimes so the fact that both these sectors are growing is a positive sign for the broader economy," Ms Giddings said. "These results suggest that interest rate relief over recent months may be starting to encourage cautious consumers to start spending again, which will help to stimulate the economy. "It is my hope that we will begin to see the improvement in consumer confidence flowing through to the retail sector in the lead-up to Christmas." "The Tasmanian Government is committed to building jobs and opportunities which will also help to strengthen confidence for the future."