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Inflation has decreased from near five-year high - CPI index

Food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, transport, and miscellaneous goods and services were the main contributors to the annual inflation print. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

Food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, transport, and miscellaneous goods and services were the main contributors to the annual inflation print. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

Published Feb 16, 2022

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Headline inflation softened to 5.7 percent in January from a near 5-year high of 5.9 percent in December, mainly the result of lower fuel prices.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today released the consumer price index (CPI) for January.

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Food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, transport, and miscellaneous goods and services were the main contributors to the annual inflation print.

Stats SA said that prices slowed mostly for transport on account of fuels.

Motorists and businesses breathed a little easier in January as fuel prices dropped by 2.8 percent from the record highs in December.

The price of inland 95-octane petrol decreased by 68 cents per litre, and diesel was down by 25 cents per litre.

In contrast to transport, inflation for oils and fats rose the highest in almost 11 years.

Stats SA said prices for cooking oil continue to soar, increasing by 5.2 percent between December and January, taking the annual rate to 32.2 percent.

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The average price of a bottle of cooking oil (750 ml) increased to R31.12 in January 2022 from R24.25 a year ago.

Stats SA said the annual food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation edged higher, from 5.5 percent in December to 5.7 percent in January.

On a monthly basis, StatsSA said consumer prices were up by 0.2 percent, decelerating from a 0.6 percent rise in December, in line with market estimates.

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The annual core inflation, which excludes prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy, rose to 3.5 percent in January, the highest since March 2020, from 3.4 percent previously.

The Don Consultancy Group (DCG) chief economist Chifi Mhango said inflationary pressures persist in the South African economic landscape amid soaring fuel and food prices, despite a drop in the recent inflation rate.

“The inflationary pressures in the South African economy attributed partly to rising food prices and energy prices are aligned to the global economic landscape,” Mhango said.

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“Global inflation rate should wane from its current level as 2022 progresses amid a tighter monetary policy environment of higher interest rates.

“However, inflation will stay high relative to past years.”

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