Figures for the 10 new EU countries show that registrations for the month of May are down but for the year so far are up by 9.7%.
For the rest of Europe in May, sales reached 1,240,539 units, an increase of 1.2% compared to the same month last year.
A spokesman for the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), which compiled the figures, said: 'This marginal increase is partly due to fewer working days in most countries (-1 in Germany, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Luxemburg and Austria and -2 in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark) but also to stagnating consumer confidence in some countries.
Cumulative figures for the first five months of the year show an increase of 2.8% (2.7% in the EU-15), in line with most predictions.'
National figures for the year so far show increases ranging from 19.7% in Denmark to 2.7% in the UK.
Four countries posted decreases, ranging from -4% in Sweden to -0.5% in the Netherlands. The spokesman added: 'Registrations in the new EU member states were down 5.6%, with Czech Republic (-19.4%) and Poland (-15.2%) posting significant drops while Lithuania (+44.4%) was the best performer. EFTA countries ended the month with an increase of 4.9%.'