Annual consumer inflation reached its highest level in 13 years, increasing to 7.8% in July from 7.4% in June. The increase was in line with economists’ forecasts.
The consumer price index (CPI) rose by 1.5% between June and July this year. According to Statistics SA, this was only the fourth time since 2008 that the monthly increase was 1.5% or higher.
Annual food inflation rose by 9.7% in July, from 8.6% in June. Bread and cereals prices were 13.7% higher than a year ago. Between June and July, there were large monthly price hikes reported in a range of products, including, maize meal (4.2%), cake flour (6.3%), macaroni (5.0%) and white bread (2.8%). But rice prices fell by more than 3%,
Oils and fats saw the biggest price hikes – up 36% in July from a year ago.
In July, fuel prices were hiked by more than 10%. This hit transport prices in particular, with taxi fares up 9% in a single month. Taxi fares were 16% higher than a year ago. Petrol is 56% more expensive than it was a year ago.
The latest consumer inflation rate reflects the annual increase in municipality service tariffs, which are adjusted in July every year.
Electricity tariffs increased on average by 7.5% – which is lower than last year’s rise of 13.8% but higher than the 2020 increase of 6.3%, Statistics SA reports.
But services inflation (+4.2%) and durable goods prices (+4.8%) remained much cooler than non-durable goods inflation – mostly driven by food – which is now at 14.4%.
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