Cape Town – In the inflation expectations for the first quarter, analysts, business people and trade unions are expecting inflation to average 6.3% in 2023 and 5.8% in 2024.
The 2023 first quarter survey was conducted by the Bureau of Economic Research (BER) between February 20 and March 9, 2023, and the results were computed on March 10.
“The survey respondents, on average, expect economic growth to be 1% in 2023, which is half the rate expected a quarter earlier.
“They anticipate that economic growth will accelerate slightly to 1.5% in 2024.
“Among the three social groups, on the lower end, analysts expect growth of 0.5% this year, with business people at 1% and trade union officials at 1.4% on the higher end.
“Concurring with their view of lower inflation and economic growth, the survey respondents also lowered their average forecast of salary and wage increases for this year. They now expect an increase of 5.3%, compared to 5.9% before,” the BER said.
The results of the inflation expectations survey are one of many factors that the Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) considers when it decides on the interest rate.
In 2001, SARB commissioned the BER to conduct a quarterly survey measure inflation expectations and other macro-economic variables related to inflation.
The BER said its respondents expect inflation to subside to 5.5% in 2025.
Anchor Capital investment analyst, Casey Delport, said: “In a happy turn of events for most local consumers, inflation fell below 7% in January for the first time since May 2022, returning a print of 6.9% year-on-year.
“However, despite overall inflation easing, food inflation has increased steadily from 9.7% in July 2022 to 13.4% in January 2023 – the highest inflation figure since May 2008 and more than double the upper inflation target limit set by the SARB. SA consumers are naturally feeling the pinch on their already strained wallets.
“The latest Household Affordability Index by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity group (PMBEJD) indicates that the average cost of the PMBEJD’s Household Food Basket was R4 928.34 in February 2023. This was up R10.91 (0.2%) from R4 917.42 in January 2023 and R572.64 (13.1%) from R4 355.70 in February 2022.”