Inflation up slightly in May

Annual consumer inflation was 4,5% in May 2019, slightly up from the 4,4% recorded in April 2019. The inflation rate has remained below the 6% monetary policy ceiling since April 2017. During this time inflation has averaged 4,7%.


Prices increased by 0,3% on average in May. This was mainly driven by a 3,3% rise in fuel prices. The price per litre of inland 95-octane petrol was R16,67 in May and diesel was R16,40. Fuel prices have increased by 11,6% over the past 12 months.

A noticeable trend over 2019 has been the uptick in the prices of some basic foodstuffs. Of the 34 products in the CPI basket that comprise the minimum food requirements for poverty analysis, 20 registered an annual increase above the 3,2% inflation rate recorded for food and non-alcoholic beverages in May. Amongst these, 11 showed an increase above the monthly 0,3% rise for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

In 2019, maize meal increased by 11,4% between January and May and by 1,4% between April and May. In May, annual inflation for tinned fish (excluding tuna) was 7,4%, and monthly prices were up by 1%. Also in May, mageu prices climbed by 8,5% (annual) and 0,6% (monthly) and cooking oil prices rose by 7,3% (annual) and 1,4% (monthly).

Fruit juice and potatoes both increased by 7,7% on an annual basis with fruit juice registering a monthly rise of 2,7% and potatoes 0,7%. Canned fizzy drinks increased by 8,9% since May 2018, and by 1% from April this year.

For more information, download the May 2019 Consumer Price Index (CPI) release here.

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