Report says euro has contributed to development and low inflation

General Motors, the American car maker, enjoyed booming profits from new markets in Asia and Latin America that compensated for a deterioration in its home market. Investors cheered the latest quarterly results from the car maker, which showed a $1bn profit from its international business. Overseas sales now account for 64 per cent of the company's revenue, and Rick Wagoner, the chief executive, called growth in some Asian markets "tremendous". GM was the first Western car maker to sell a million vehicles in China and growth has been spurred by rising living standards in emerging economies.

The overseas performance was a bright spot in the first three months of the year, when losses in the North American division quadrupled to $812m. Debt-burdened US consumers are holding off on big purchases such as cars, and those that do buy are increasingly choosing smaller, less expensive vehicles to save money on petrol. Strikes at GM's suppliers and a $1.45bn writedown of its ailing consumer finance division GMAC also contributed to an overall group loss of $3.25bn, but the figures was smaller than Wall Street had feared.

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