At 5.2 percent in November, producer price inflation remained at the October level and was below market expectations of 5.4 percent.

However, food inflation was higher at 10.1 percent at the agricultural level, compared with 6.3 percent in October; and 11.1 percent at manufacturing level against 10.9 percent.

Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop attributed the rise to the “legacy effect of high international prices”.

However, there may be some relief on the food front.

Bishop said: “Of particular interest was the ongoing moderation of the domestic grain price inflation rate, which fell to 10 percent year on year. This is well below the 27.6 percent seen in July 2012.”

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation reported earlier this month that its food price index averaged 211 points last month, down 3 points from October and the lowest since June.

“Except for dairy, international prices of all the commodity groups in the index fell.” – Ethel Hazelhurst