South Africa’s headline consumer inflation slowed to 5.9% year-on-year (y/y) in September, below market expectations of 6.1% and compared to 6.4% in August, data from Statistics South Africa showed today. On a month-on-month (m/m) basis the consumer price index was at 0.0% from 0.4% in August.
“This is the first month since February that it (inflation) is below the ceiling of the Reserve Bank’s target,” Stats SA said. “The 0.5% drop in the rate was largely because of a 67c/l drop in the petrol price. This is equivalent to a decrease of almost 5%.” The inland price of 93 unleaded petrol was now only 14c more than it was in September 2013. Food prices were unchanged on average in September compared to August, bringing the annual rate down to 8.5% compared to the 9.4% of August. The prices of fish (1.5%), milk, eggs, and cheese (all 0.9%), vegetables (0.3%), sugar, sweets, and desserts (0.3%) and fruit (0.1%) all increased. The prices of oils and fats (1.1%), cold beverages (0.4%), bread and cereals (0.3%), meat (0.2%) and other food (0.2%) all decreased. The price of maize meal declined by 1.3% over the course of the month. It has increased by only 3% since September last year.
The housing and utilities index rose by 0.7% between August and September, mainly due to a 1.2% increase in actual rentals for housing and a 1.1% increase in owners’ equivalent rent.