Inflation rises to 4% and ends the happy downwards trend

The consumer price index (CPI) has increased to 4% year-on-year (y/y), ending six months of consecutive decreases in the y/y rate, Stats SA announced yesterday. The Inflation Factory (TIF) said on Tuesday that its calculations showed that it would increase to 4.2% y-o-y.

“This week’s inflation numbers should highlight to the Reserve Bank that the softer inflation prints the economy enjoyed in the early parts of the year are largely behind it,” Jeffrey Schultz, an economist at BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities in Johannesburg, said in an e-mailed note to clients before the data was released, Bloomberg reported. “Higher inflation in the face of pedestrian economic growth will leave the Reserve Bank with a delicate balancing act again in the second half of 2015.”

h3. TIF Prediction

“The 9.3% petrol price increases is a key driver of this y/y increase and will continue to significantly affect CPI next month, as a 14.4% increase is set to be included,” the TIF said in its monthly newsletter. The TIF index uses daily prices of hundreds of thousands of e-commerce goods each month to objectively calculate the CPI index and is available three weeks before the official publication. Each month, the TIF focuses on one of the 128 sub-categories that make up the CPI index. This month, it focused on the inflation of beer and wine, which increased significantly at the beginning of March, following Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s announcement of new excise taxes on sin goods. “The 15c increase per quart or bottle has resulted in annual inflation of beer and wine of 13.8% and 7.5% respectively,” TIF said.

Stats SA announced its CPI on Twitter and did not give a full report, as its website is currently down…..anybody surprised?

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