South Africa consumer inflation slows to lowest level in 15 years
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's headline consumer price index for all urban areas slowed sharply to 3 percent year on year in April from 4.1 percent in March, the lowest in 15 years, the national statistics agency said.
Statistics South Africa said lockdown regulations which were in effect during April to slow down transmissions of the Covid-19 dramatically restricted the goods and services available for purchase by consumers.
Release of the April data was also delayed by a month due to disruptions linked to the pandemic.
The lowest that annual CPI has been, before the April print, was June 2005 when it dipped to 2.8 percent.
On a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index decreased by 0.5 percent in April, Stats SA said.
The main contributors to the annual rate were food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, transport and miscellaneous goods and services.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 4.4 percent year on year and contributed 0.7 percentage points to the overall rate, while housing and utility increased by 4.6 percent and accounted for 1.1 percentage points.
Transport decreased by 3.5 percent and deducted 0.5 percentage points from CPI, but miscellaneous goods and services increased by 6.4 percent, contributing one percentage point as a result.
Stats SA said it was not possible for CPI data collectors to visit stores due to Covid-19 and as a result, the April consumer inflation numbers were based on a significantly limited sample.
"Where possible, prices were collected from the online presence of stores already in the CPI sample," it said.
"Online prices were collected at the end of March and these form the base for comparison with the April prices. This ensures the integrity of the matched model method."
It said prices of food, health, household cleaning and personal care items were collected each week and other items once during the month.
African News Agency (ANA)