Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK -

The country’s credit down­grade to junk in April, fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Zuma’s Cab­i­net reshuf­fle at the end of March, “im­me­di­ately” im­pacted on new car sales, ve­hi­cle fi­nancier WesBank said. New car sales dropped 13.4% year-on-year in April, with only 34 956 new ve­hi­cles sold – the low­est sales per­for­mance since De­cem­ber 2009, ac­cord­ing to WesBank. Un­til the end of March, the new ve­hi­cle in­dus­try saw year-to-date growth of 1.9%. The down­grades have neg­a­tively im­pacted on con­sumer con­fi­dence, with the weak­en­ing rand al­ready re­sult­ing in no­table fuel price in­creases and the ex­pec­ta­tion of fur­ther in­ter­est rate in­creases, it said.

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