South Africa Vehicle Sales Climb 20% in April

South African vehicle sales rose at the quickest pace in almost a year in April as the Reserve Bank kept borrowing costs at the lowest level in more than 30 years to stimulate growth.

Purchases rose to 50,920 from 42,608 a year earlier, the Pretoria-based National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa said in an e-mailed statement today. Sales dropped from 54,933 in March.

Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus kept the benchmark repurchase rate at 5 percent in March as manufacturing and mining struggled to recover from strikes last year and demand from Europe for manufactured goods eased. Policy makers have had little room to lower borrowing costs since a surprise reduction in July, with inflation remaining close to the top of the bank’s target of 3 percent to 6 percent.

Passenger car sales rose 16 percent to 34,346 and exports increased 30 percent to 22,907 in April from a year earlier, Naamsa said.

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