Annual consumer inflation softened to 4,4% in April 2019 after hitting a three-month high of 4,5% in March 2019. While food inflation remains quite stable, rising petrol prices continue to place pressure on consumers.
Inflation has remained within the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) target range of 3–6% for two years (since March 2017).
The fuel price index saw a rise of 7,6% in April from March, on the back of a hefty price hike. The 7,6% rise is the biggest monthly jump in fuel prices since April 2015 when the fuel index climbed by 14,3%.
The price of inland 95-octane petrol increased by R1,31 per litre in April 2019 and diesel (wholesale) by 82c.1 Revised fuel and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levies also came into effect in April, contributing to these increases.
All eyes will be on fuel prices in June when government is expected to implement the carbon tax.
Annual food inflation in April continued to be moderate at 2,3%. However, several foods had higher inflation than the overall food rate: vegetables (10,1%); fruit (6,4%); bread and cereals (6,1%); fish (4,9%); and sugar, sweets & desserts (5,2%).
Meat prices continued their downward trend, registering an overall annual decline of 1,2% in April. Stewing beef was 5,4% cheaper than a year ago. The average price of beef steak has fallen by 4,8% (click on the image to enlarge).
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages have seen strong price increases over the past 12 months. Cold beverage prices have increased by 9,4% since April 2018. Wine prices climbed by 7,9% over the same period.
1 Department of Energy, Comparing prices for petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin (IP) (click here).
For more information, download the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) release here.
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