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South Africa Vehicle Sales Expands at Slowest Pace in Two Months

South African vehicle sales increased at the slowest pace in two months in November as economic growth eased, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa said.

Sales rose 7.3 percent from a year ago to 53,134 units, the Pretoria-based group said in an e-mailed statement today.

Africa’s biggest economy is set to expand 2.5 percent this year, the slowest pace since a 2009 recession, according to government forecasts. The Reserve Bank last month held the benchmark lending rate at 5 percent as quickening inflation limited room to further stimulate growth following a surprise rate-cut in July.

“Negative factors that could influence the new vehicle market over the medium-term include a slowdown in the economy, rising inflationary pressures as well as the impact of exchange rate weakness,” the association said in the statement.

Sales growth for the full year remains on track to be about 10 percent, with a rise of 6 percent to 8 percent expected for 2013, it said.

Passenger-car sales increased 11 percent to 36,686 in November from a year earlier, while vehicle exports rose 40 percent to 20,453.

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