Inflation remains at 5.9% in April, with food and transport costs giving cause for concern

Inflation remained at 5.9% in April, the same as March, but up 0.6% compared to April 2021, with the annual rate of inflation for goods at 8.5%, down from the previous year. ” 8.7% in March and 3.5% of services, up from 3.4% in March.

According to Statistics SA, this was the third time that the inflation rate has come this close to the 6% maximum inflation target required by the Reserve Bank. The last time the inflation rate exceeded 6% was in 2017.

The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets tomorrow to decide on an interest rate hike to keep inflation low.

READ ALSO: Inflation on the rise, but should not exceed 6%

High prices of fuel and food

Unsurprisingly, transportation was a major contributor to the annual inflation rate, increasing by 14.7% from April 2021 and contributing 2.0 percentage points to the inflation rate. Between March and April, fuel prices rose 2.2%, but 29% year-on-year.

Food and soft drinks were also a major contributor, up 6.0% from April 2021 and contributed 1.0 percentage points to the CPI’s total annual inflation rate. In March, the increase was 6.2%.

The fallout from the war in Ukraine is now clearly visible in the price of food, particularly with regard to sunflower oil and wheat. The average price of sunflower oil increased from R31.24 in March to R34.89 in April.

The biggest increases in meat prices were for the beef stew which cost 2.8% more in April than in March, as the mince cost 2.2% more and the individually frozen chicken pieces costing the. 1.4% more.

Housing and utilities also contributed significantly and increased by 4.8% compared to April last year and contributed 1.2 percentage points to the inflation rate.

Sundry goods and services increased 3.8% year-on-year and contributed 0.6 percentage points to the inflation rate.

READ ALSO: The crisis in Ukraine means that food prices will see more spikes, not just in SA, but across Africa

Major increases

The goods and services that recorded the greatest increases in April compared to March were:

  • Oils and fats up by 5.4%
  • Fuel increased by 2.2%
  • Private transportation and other management costs of 2.1%
  • Books, newspapers and stationery by 1.5%
  • 1.3% purchase of a new vehicle
  • Tobacco 1.3%
  • Hot drinks by 1.3%
  • 1.1% insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages (spirits) of 1.1%
  • Meat 1.0%
  • 0.9% sugar, sweets and desserts.

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