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BOMB SHELL – INFLATION INCREASED TO 7.8% – STATS SOUTH AFRICA

The annual consumer price inflation for July increased from 7.4% to 7.8%, according to data released by Stats SA on Wednesday.

The main contributors to the higher annual inflation rate were food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing and utilities; transport; and miscellaneous goods and services, Stats SA said.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 9.7% year on year and contributed 1.7 percentage points to the total CPI annual rate.

Housing and utilities increased by 4.0% year on year and contributed 1.0 percentage point. Transport increased by 25% year on year and contributed 3.4 percentage points.

Miscellaneous goods and services increased by 3.6% year-on-year and contributed 0.5 of a percentage point.

In July the annual inflation rate for goods was 11.5%, up from 11.0% in June; and for services, it was at 4.2%, up from 3.9% in June.

The list below shows which basket items are above July’s inflation number and those which fall outside the target band.

  • Fuel: +56.2%
  • Oils and fats: +36.2%
  • Public transport: +22.0%
  • Bread and cereals: +13.7%
  • Processed food: +12.9%
  • Fish: +9.7%
  • Meat: +9.4%
  • Other food: +9.0%
  • Vegetables: +8.3%
  • Electricity: +8.1%
  • Spirits: +7.9%
  • Sugars, sweets and desserts: +7.5%
  • Unprocessed food: +7.5%
  • Hot beverages: +7.0%
  • Appliances: +6.5%
  • Restaurants: +6.5%
  • Other running costs for transport: +6.4%
  • Vehicle purchases: +6.3%

Only two basket items actually dropped, month on month: fruit (-1.4%) and telecommunication equipment (-11.9%).

Good news on the horizon

While the July inflation numbers are a sharp shock for consumers, economists anticipated a higher figure for the month.

However, Nedbank economists this week said that the inflation outlook for August and beyond is more positive as a lower fuel price and stabilisation of cooking oil prices are set to take effect.

After months of steep fuel price hikes on the back of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and global fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, August saw prices come down by R1.32 a litre.

Positive news for consumers is that the declining petrol price trend is looking to continue through to September, with the latest snapshot from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) showing a R1.70 to R2.40 per litre over recovery for diesel and petrol, respectively.

Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop said that falling food and energy prices since the end of Q2.22 have contributed to a moderation in commodity prices overall, subduing pressure on the CPI inflation rate.

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