Auto sales in Malaysia rose 4.5 percent to a record high in 2013, but are expected to slow this year as a rising cost of living curbs consumer spending, AP cited an industry group as saying Wednesday.Sales totaled almost 656,000 vehicles in 2013, buoyed by a robust economy, launches of new car models and a slight reduction in prices, said the Malaysian Automotive Association. This year, the association forecast growth to slow to 2.2 percent to reach 670,000 vehicles."Sales last year was above average. This year, we are giving a more realistic forecast because of increases in prices of goods and services. Consumers are tightening their belts and many are likely to downsize in terms of car purchase," said association president Aishah Ahmad.Inflation increased after the government cut subsidies for petrol and sugar last year as part of fiscal reforms, while electricity tariffs were raised in January for the first time in two years. The inflation rate was 2.9 percent in November, up from 1.9 percent in August.