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Economists: CPI not all doom & gloom

Statistics South Africa announced earlier that consumer inflation rose to 6.8% in December, up from 6.6% in November.

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JOHANNESBURG - Economists say that the latest consumer inflation figure is worse than expected, it won't necessarily translate into an interest rate hike.

Statistics South Africa announced earlier that consumer inflation rose to 6.8% in December from 6.6% in November.

Economists had expected CPI to ease to about 6.5 %.

Food inflation was once again the largest negative contributor to overall consumer inflation in December, at 11.7 % from 11.6% the previous month.

It comes at a time when the country is starting to recover from the worst drought in decades.

Investment Solutions economist Lesiba Motata says the recent rainfall will ease inflation this year.

Nedbank economist Busisiwe Radede says the Monetary Policy Committee is likely to leave rates on hold next week.

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago has said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he expects the South African economy to fare better this year.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)