South Africa Inflation Rate Quickens to 4.3% in August

The annual inflation rate in South Africa increased to 4.3 percent in August 2019 from 4.0 percent in July, above market expectations of 4.2 percent but below the mid-point of the Reserve Bank's target range of 3-6%. Prices of housing & utilities and food were the key inflationary drivers.

Year-on-year, prices went up at a faster pace mainly for housing & utilities (5.3 percent vs 5.1 percent in July), namely electricity (11.8 percent vs 10.4 percent), reflecting further increases in Eskom's power tariffs; and food & non-alcoholic beverages (3.9 percent vs 3.4 percent), which rose the most in a year, driven by prices of bread & cereals (8.6 percent vs 7.9 percent). Transport cost continued to advance (3.1 percent vs 3.0 percent), chiefly due to public transport (9 percent vs 7.6 percent) while fuels cost decreased again (-0.5 percent, the same pace as in July). Additional upward pressure came from miscellaneous goods & services (5.8 percent vs 5.6 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (6.2 percent vs 6.0 percent); household contents and services (3.3 percent vs 3.0 percent); recreation & culture (1.3 percent vs 0.9 percent); clothing & footwear (2.1 percent vs 1.9 percent) and restaurants & hotels (3.1 percent vs 2.8 percent). 

At the same time, inflation was steady for education (at 6.7 percent) and slowed for health (4.9 percent vs 5.4 percent). Communications prices dropped 0.1 percent, the same pace as in the previous month.

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes cost of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy, edged up to 4.3 percent in August from 4.2 percent in the prior month and slightly above market expectations of 4.2 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.3 percent, easing from a 0.4 percent rise in the previous month but above market forecasts of a 0.2 percent gain.

South Africa Inflation Rate Quickens to 4.3% in August

Statistics South Africa | Luisa Carvalho |
9/18/2019 9:25:21 AM