SA’s consumer price index (CPI)‚ which the Reserve Bank uses to target inflation‚ increased by 5.6% year on year in October from 5.5% year on year in September‚ Statistics SA (Stats SA) said on Wednesday.

The inflation rate was expected to have come in at 5.5% year on year‚ according to a survey of leading economists by I-Net Bridge.

Forecasts among the nine economists ranged from 5.3% to 5.6%.

CPI increased by 0.6% month on month in October from 0.9% in September.

The annual average consumer inflation rate was 5.0% in 2011 from 4.3% in 2010.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by 2.5% between September and October. The monthly increase in the food index of 2.8% was the highest since August 1994. The annual rate increased to 6.3% in October from 5.8% in September.

The following components in the food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased: vegetables (9.5%); fruit (5.4%); bread and cereals (2.8%); meat (2.2%); other food (1.7%); fish (0.8%); oils and fats (0.8%); milk‚ eggs and cheese (0.7%); and hot beverages (0.3%).

Cold beverages decreased by 0.2%.

The transport index increased by 0.4% between September and October‚ mainly due to a 21 cents a litre increase in the price of petrol. The annual rate decreased to 6.1% in October from 6.6% in September.

The miscellaneous goods and services index increased by 0.6% between the two months‚ while the annual rate increased to 5.3% in October from 5.2% in September. - I-Net Bridge