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Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect monthly sales of about 1.5 million new vehicles when automakers report them on Wednesday, with a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 16.6 million. Auto sales are a closely watched indicator of consumer demand, particularly for big-ticket items, and the industry accounts for roughly one-fifth of all U.S. Industry research firm Kelley Blue Book said incentives, including rebates and cash-back offers, were on track to end the month between $2,700 to $3,000 per vehicle. The biggest discounts were on mid-size sedans, which are staying on dealer lots more than 80 days before being sold, compared to 47 days for small crossover sport utility vehicles, Kelley Blue Book said.
The International Monetary Fund approved Friday the release of nearly $1.4 billion in fresh funds for troubled Ukraine, but warned that continued fighting could undermine the international bailout of the country. The global crisis lender said Kiev had "generally" implemented economic reforms required under the support program launched in April, though it had missed targets for building up reserves and cutting the government's deficit. "This is not an isolated action, but part of a dangerous pattern over many months to destabilize Ukraine as a sovereign nation," NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. Despite the escalation in the crisis, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the government that took over in Kiev after February's overthrow of the pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych had made progress on the economy.