Johannesburg - The cost of goods leaving South African factories rose at a faster pace in July than the previous month as the rand’s depreciation boosted import costs, including petrol prices.
Producer-price inflation for finished manufactured goods accelerated to 6.6 percent from 5.9 percent in June, Pretoria- based Statistics SA said on its website on Thursday.
The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of nine economists was 6.3 percent. Producer prices rose 0.7 percent in the month.
The rand has lost almost a fifth of its value against the dollar this year, adding to pressure on inflation and leaving little room for the Reserve Bank to lower its benchmark interest rate from 5 percent to spur the economy.
Rising producer costs may stoke consumer-price inflation, which reached 6.3 percent in July to exceed the bank’s 3 percent to 6 percent target range for the first time in 15 months.
Petrol costs rose 6.8 percent in the beginning of July as the rand weakened against the dollar and oil prices rose.
The Reserve Bank last month lowered its economic growth forecast for this year to 2 percent, which would be the slowest expansion since a 2009 recession. - Bloomberg