Auto sales are expected to hit a record in 2017 for the eighth consecutive year as demand surges in emerging markets and people in the U.S. replace older vehicles, according to a forecast released Thursday by Scotiabank. Global car sales accelerated sharply in the final months of 2016 and are expected to continue, albeit more slowly, in the coming year. The increase in demand is being supported by stronger global economic growth, the bank said. Low gas prices have also prompted record demand for trucks and SUVs in the U.S. One blemish to this uptrend is China, which is on track to record its first auto sales decline since 2008. Shares of General Motors Co. [s. gm] are up 18% in the past three months, while Ford Motor Co.'s have grown 3.3%. In Japan, shares of Total Motor Corp. have increased 15% in the past three months, while Honda Motor Co.'s increased 14%. The S&P 500 , meanwhile, is up 6% over the same period.
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