updated 12/23/2005 1:38:22 PM ET 2005-12-23T18:38:22

China’s car production in November grew 52.1 percent from the same month last year to a record 291,900 units, breaking the previous record set in June of 275,100 units, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Friday.

China’s car production between January and November totaled 2.65 million units, up 24.2 percent from the year-earlier period, the bureau said in a statement on its Web site.

There was no explanation for November’s production increase.

Car production for all of 2005 is expected to grow slightly faster than the growth rate for the January-November period, said Jiang Yuan, an official at the bureau’s Industrial Transportation Statistics Department.

Growth in China’s car output was boosted by a low comparison base last year, said Jiang, who wrote the statement.

China’s car production last year totaled 2.31 million units, up 11.7 percent.

Demand for automobiles in China weakened significantly last year as the government curbed credit to the sector because of signs of economic overheating. The decline in demand also led to sharp price cuts by automakers.

Jiang said he expected car output growth next year to be slower than this year, but didn’t elaborate.

Also, cheaper car imports are expected to push domestic prices even lower in 2006, he said.

China has promised to cut auto import tariffs to meet its commitments to the World Trade Organization.

“I personally think car prices won’t stabilize until some time in 2007... but it’s hard to predict when a bottom may form,” Jiang said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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