Update on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May

The May CPI will be published on Wednesday, 15 July.

At the heart of measuring inflation is the comparison of prices of a fixed set of products in two periods. The COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and gradual normalisation have posed particular challenges for the calculation of the consumer price index.

Special imputation methods were used in the April CPI to account for the absence of consumer expenditure on certain CPI basket items. These were documented in a note published on 22 May on the Stats SA website and the April CPI statistical release.

May saw the loosening of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and the opening of a wider range of goods and services available for sale. However, as prices for these imputed product groups were not available in April, it is not possible to compute changes to their indices for the calculation of the May CPI.

A more recent note, published on 10 July 2020, addresses the different methods used to compute the CPI for May. To find out more, read the note here.