China's auto sales surged 23.8% in June from a year earlier, the first increase in four months after authorities cut taxes and offered subsidies to encourage car purchases as COVID-19 restrictions eased.

Sales in the world's biggest car market increased to 2.5 million vehicles in June, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed on Monday.

Sales for the first half of the year, hit hard by stringent lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities between March and May, were 6.6% lower from the same period in 2021.

June sales were up 34.4% from May, with sales of new energy vehicles, which include electric vehicles, plug-in petrol-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, climbing 129.2% from the previous year. (Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)