SA's spending growth slows to 1.9%

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Filomena Scalise

Pretoria - Spending in South Africa grew at its slowest pace in four years in the third quarter of 2013, as strikes, tighter lending from banks and slowing government spending hit households in Africa's top economy.

Growth in spending slowed to an annualised 1.9 percent in the third quarter, from 2.7 percent in the second quarter, the South African Reserve Bank said on Tuesday in its December Quarterly Bulletin.

Reporting on economic developments in the third quarter, the bank said the slower rate of spending helped lower household debt to disposable income dip to 75.5 percent, from 75.8 percent in the previous three months.

However, the cost of servicing that debt remained unchanged from the first quarter at 7.7 percent.

Growth in households' disposable income was also slower at 2.3 percent in the third quarter, from 2.8 percent in the second quarter.

The Finance Ministry's bid to curtail the budget deficit saw government spending moderate slightly, to 1.5 percent from 1.7 percent in the second quarter. - Reuters

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