NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. logged a 26.6 percent gain from a year earlier to 157,725 in new car sales in the United States in January, the biggest increase among the six biggest U.S. and Japanese automakers, according to data released Friday by research company Autodata Corp.

Overall sales in the world's second largest auto market rose 14.2 percent to 1,043,103 units, the best January result since 2008.

Seasonally adjusted annualized sales came to 15.29 million units, down 80,000 from December but staying above the 15 million threshold for the third consecutive month.

The top five manufacturers -- Toyota, and the three biggest U.S. automakers and Honda Motor Co. -- all posted double-digit increases helped by keen consumer demand on the back of a gradually recovering economy.

Toyota's strong showing -- ranking third -- stemmed from brisk sales of its mainline compact models and key hybrid Prius.

General Motors Co. maintained the top seller post with 194,699 units, up 15.9 percent, thanks to solid sales of large cars such as sports utility vehicles. Ford Motor Co. followed with 165,863 units, up 21.7 percent.

Chrysler Group LLC came in fourth after Toyota, marking 115,228 units in sales, up 16.1 percent.

Honda Motor Co. was fifth with 93,626 units, up 12.8 percent. Nissan Motor Co. posted a modest 2 percent gain to 80,919 units.