(Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC reported a 13 percent rise in July auto sales in the United States, while Nissan Motor Co posted a 16.2 percent increase, as better financing deals and pent-up demand lured consumers into dealer showrooms last month.
Chrysler, which is majority-owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA, sold 126,089 cars and trucks last month, its best July in five years.
The smallest U.S. automaker's sales increase fell short of some analysts' estimates. Barclays Capital had expected Chrysler to sell 129,453 vehicles, while RBC Capital Markets had projected 127,889.
U.S. auto sales for Japan's Nissan rose 16.2 percent to 98,341.
Monthly auto sales are an early indicator of U.S. consumer demand. According to a Reuters survey of 41 economists, the annual auto sales pace is expected to be 14 million in July, roughly on par with the 14.1 million rate seen in June.
Last month, better financing deals attracted consumers who had been closed out of the auto market since the recession. That, coupled with pent-up demand and increased construction spending, may offset weak consumer confidence and still-high unemployment, analysts have said.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)
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