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SA December CPI at 5.7%

Johannesburg – SA’s consumer price index (CPI)- which the Reserve Bank uses to target inflation- increased to 5.7% in December after measuring 5.6% year on year in November‚ Statistics SA (Stats SA) said on Wednesday.

The inflation rate was expected to have come in at 5.7% year on year‚ according to a survey of leading economists by I-Net Bridge.

Forecasts among the eleven economists ranged from 5.6% to 5.8%.

CPI increased by 0.2% month on month in December from 0.2% in November.

The annual average consumer inflation rate was 5.6% for 2012 from 5.0% in 2011 and 4.3% in 2010.

The average annual inflation rate of 5.6% was 0.6 of a percentage point higher than the corresponding average annual inflation rate of 5.0% in 2011.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by 0.2% between November 2012 and December 2012. The annual rate decreased to 6.9% in December 2012 from 7.0% in November 2012.

The following components in the food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased: fruit (4.9%); milk‚ eggs and cheese (0.8%); hot beverages (0.8%); cold beverages (0.8%); oils and fats (0.7%); meat (0.4%); and bread and cereals (0.2%).

The following components decreased: vegetables (-2.4%); fish (-0.6%); other food (-0.3%); and sugar‚ sweets and desserts (-0.2%).

The housing and utilities increased by 0.5% between November 2012 and December 2012‚ mainly due to a 0.8% increase in actual rentals for housing and a 0.7% increase in owners’ equivalent rent. The annual rate was unchanged at 6.0% in December 2012.

The transport index increased by 0.3% between November 2012 and December 2012‚ mainly due to a 26.6% increase in long distance bus fares. The annual rate was unchanged at 5.5% in December 2012.

The provinces with an annual inflation rate lower than or equal to headline inflation were Free State (5.7%)‚ Western Cape (5.6%)‚ KwaZulu-Natal (5.6%)‚ Gauteng (5.5%) and Eastern Cape (5.3%).

The provinces with an annual inflation rate higher than headline inflation were Northern Cape (6.5%)‚ North West (6.4%)‚ Mpumalanga (6.2%) and Limpopo (6.2%). - I-Net Bridge

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