South Africa’s annual headline inflation stays at 5.9% in April

By bne IntelliNews May 22, 2013

South Africa’s annual headline inflation rate stood at 5.9% in April 2013, at the same level as in March, just below the upper end of the central bank’s 3%-6% target range, Statistics South Africa said. Compared month-on-month, consumer prices rose 0.4% in April, slower than the 1.2% growth in March.

The prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages grew 0.5% m/m last month, pushing the annual food inflation rate up to 6.2% from 5.7% in the previous month. Higher petrol prices led to a 0.5% monthly growth in transport prices, but the annual transport inflation rate fell to 6.2% last month from 7.5% in March.

According to analysts, the key driver for inflation was the weakness of the local currency, while demand has remained subdued. It is widely expected that the South African Reserve Bank would keep interest rates on hold at 5% at its Thursday (May 23) meeting in order to keep a balance between upside risks to inflation and a sluggish economy.

The central bank has projected headline inflation to rise to 6.3% in Q3, but to slow to 5.2% in Q4.

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