Consumer inflation dips slightly lower to 3,2%

Annual consumer inflation retreated slightly in November, to 3,2% from 3,3% in October. There was no monthly change in the index.


Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices continued to climb, recording an aggregate annual increase of 5,8%, up from 5,4% in October. Food inflation contributed 1,0 percentage point to November’s headline rate of 3,2%.

There were notable price movements in a number of categories:

Bread and cereals

If you are into baking, you will be disappointed to learn that cake flour prices have increased by 11,9% over the last year. Brown bread prices rose by 9,2%, and white bread by 7,9%.

As a category, bread and cereals recorded an annual price rise of 4,2% in November.

Bucking the trend of the category as a whole, super maize meal prices have decreased over the last year, declining on average by 7,4%.

Meat and fish

The meat index recorded an annual rise of 6,6%. Beef products in particular have experienced high annual increases. Beef steak is 16,0% more expensive than it was a year ago. Beef mince prices have increased by 9,2%, and stewing beef by 8,6%.

Prices in the fish category registered a 4,5% rise over the last year. However, prices dropped slightly (by 0,2%) in November 2020 compared with October 2020.

Oils and fats

The annual change in prices in the oils and fats category was 8,3%. However, on a monthly basis prices edged slightly lower by 0,2%.

Peanut butter is a favourite of many; others won’t touch it. Either way, prices for the spread have increased by 6,6% over the last year, though a monthly decline of 2,0% was recorded in November. Cooking oil prices climbed by 9,3% over the last year, and margarine by 7,9%.

Hot beverages

The hot beverages index increased by 6,2% on an annual basis, but on a monthly basis declined slightly by 0,1%. Black tea is 10,8% more expensive than it was a year ago, but on a monthly basis black tea is cheaper by 0,7%.

Transport goods and services

Prices for products related to transport recorded an average monthly decline of 0,8% and an annual decrease of 1,3% in November. All the main transport indices were lower in November 2020 compared with October 2020: vehicle prices declined by 0,3%, public transport by 0,4% and fuel by 2,0%.

Fuel prices are, on aggregate, 10,4% lower than they were a year ago. As an example, the price of inland 95-octane petrol was R16,08 per litre in November 2019, falling to R14,59 in November 2020.1

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


1 Department of Energy. Comparing prices for petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin (IP) (click here).

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