South Africa's annual headline producer price inflation surprisingly eased to 3.0% in April from 3.1% in March, data released by Statistics South Africa showed. Economists expected the PPI inflation to accelerate to 3.4% last month, according to a Business Day survey.
Compared to the previous month, factory prices rose 0.9% in April, slowing from a 1.8% growth in March.
The main contributor to the annual headline producer inflation last month again was the group of foods, beverages and tobacco products with a 5.4% y/y growth and a 1.8pp contribution to the PPI, (+6.0% y/y, 2.0pp contribution in March).
On the other hand, deflation in the group of coke, petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products, softened to 7.5% y/y from 9.3% y/y in March. The group contributed -1.6pp to the overall price development versus -2.0pp in March.
Producer prices are a key preliminary indicator for the dynamics in consumer price inflation, which quickened to 4.5% y/y in April from 4% in March.
As of January 2013, Statistics South Africa releases five separate industry-specific PPIs, with final manufactured goods representing the headline number. The other four PPIs cover agriculture, forestry and fishing; mining and quarrying; electricity and water; and intermediate manufactured goods (see the table below).
|Producer price inflation||Apr-15||Mar-15||Apr-15||Mar-15|
|Final manufactured goods||3.0%||3.1%||0.9%||1.8%|
|Intermediate manufactured goods||-0.2%||0.9%||-0.7%||0.3%|
|Electricity and water||10.4%||8.6%||4.7%||-1.2%|
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||4.5%||-1.0%||1.7%||1.5%|
|Source: Statistics South Africa|
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