South African vehicle sales fall 0.3%

South African vehicle sales dropped unexpectedly in August, the first decline since March. Sales fell 0.3% from a year earlier to 56 112 vehicles, the Pretoria-based National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa said in an emailed statement on Monday.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of four economists was for sales to grow 4.8%.

The Reserve Bank has held the benchmark repurchase rate at 5% for more than a year as inflation pressure limits its options to cut rates and stimulate the economy.

Inflation at 6.3% in July exceeded the bank’s 3% to 6% target range for the first time in 15 months. Passenger-car sales fell 3.7% in August from a year earlier to 38 892, while sales of light commercial vehicles, such as bakkies and taxis, rose 5.3% to 14 376, the industry association said. Vehicles exports dropped 23% to 19 284.

The rand gained 0.6% to 10.2226 per dollar at 2.44pm in Johannesburg on Monday, trimming this year’s decline to 17%.


RGT Smart compiles the data for the industry association. – Bloomberg

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