Inflation inches higher in October

Consumer price inflation picked up slightly in October, rising to 7,6% from 7,5% in September. The monthly increase in the consumer price index (CPI) was 0,4%, up from 0,1%.


Bread & cereals, meat and dairy drive food prices higher

The annual rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages edged higher to 12,0% from 11,9% in September. The bread and cereals category continues to witness high levels of inflation, with the annual rate increasing to 19,5% from 19,3% in September. Large monthly price increases were recorded for sweet biscuits (5,5%), macaroni (3,1%) and maize meal (1,7%).

Annual meat inflation also quickened in October, rising to 10,5% from 9,9% in September. Beef prices registered large monthly increases, most notably steak (2,5%), stewing beef (1,2%) and mince (1,1%).

The dairy index (milk, eggs & cheese) registered an annual increase of 10,5%, the highest rate since February 2017 (10,7%). Products recording significant monthly increases include long life full cream milk (3,5%), fresh full cream milk (1,8%) and cheddar cheese (1,2%).

Hot beverage prices increased by 14,0% in the twelve months to October, the highest annual reading since February 2017 (14,3%). Instant coffee recorded a monthly increase of 2,1% and black (Ceylon) tea 3,4%.

Oils & fat products, which drove food inflation higher for many months, bucked the trend in October. The category recorded a second consecutive month of disinflation, with prices falling by 1,0% after a decrease of 6,1% in September. This took the annual rate to 25,7% from 29,0% in September.

Fuel inflation continues to decline as used vehicle prices rise

The annual change for the transport index was 17,1%, softer than September’s reading of 17,9%. Annual vehicle inflation climbed to 6,1% from 5,8% in September on the back of higher used vehicle prices. Used vehicles are on average 14,5% more expensive than a year ago, representing the highest annual rate since the current CPI series began in 2009.

Lower petrol prices saw the fuel index decline for a third consecutive month. This took the annual rate for fuel to 30,1% in October from 34,1% in September, decreasing further from the 56,2% peak recorded in July. A litre of unleaded 95-octane petrol (inland) was R22,36 in October, lower than the record high of R26,74 in July.1

Other notable price changes in October

Inflation for household detergents continued to increase, with washing powder reaching an annual rate of 30,3% and dishwashing liquid 16,2%. Bath soap prices increased by 21,3% and toothpaste prices by 20,8% in the twelve months to October.

Health insurance premiums increased by 4,8% in October 2022 compared with October 2021, higher than the annual reading of 3,5% recorded in September.


For more information, download the October 2022 CPI statistical release, time series data and average product prices here.

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

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