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SA’s CPI rises to 6.8% year-on-year in December

SA’s headline consumer inflation accelerated beating market expectations from 6.6% in November.

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's headline consumer inflation accelerated to 6.8% year-on-year in December, beating market expectations, from 6.6% in November, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 6.5 percent year-on-year inflation print.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation quickened to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent previously.

Core inflation, which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, rose to 5.9 percent year-on-year in December from 5.7 percent and edged higher to 0.5 percent on a month-on-month basis from 0.1 percent.

Statistics South Africa says this is the highest level since February last year when consumer inflation hit 7%.

Nedbank economist Busisiwe Radebe says this increase came as a surprise.

“But the upside surprise relative to the Nedbank forecast actually stems from food prices, especially meat prices.

They increased more steeply than we had anticipated in December. If you look at the month on month basis, meat prices actually went up 2% and we were not expecting that.”