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CPI slows to 6.3% in February from 6.6% in January

On a month-on-month basis, inflation rose to 1.1% from 0.6% previously.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's headline consumer inflation slowed to 6.3% year-on-year in February from 6.6% in January, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 6.3% year-on-year inflation print.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation rose to 1.1% from 0.6% previously.

Core inflation, which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, inched lower to 5.2% year-on-year in February from 5.5% and rose to 1.1% on a month-on-month basis from 0.3%.

Meanwhile, the South African Reserve Bank announced on Wednesday that South Africa's current account deficit narrowed to 1.7% of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2016, the lowest shortfall in nearly six years, from a revised deficit of 3.8% in the third quarter.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 3.5% deficit for the quarter.

South Africa last recorded a 1.7% current account deficit in the first quarter of 2011, the bank said.

Exports rose during the fourth quarter of 2016, resulting in a trade surplus of R56 billion rand compared with a revised shortfall of R7 billion in the third quarter, the Reserve Bank said in its March quarterly bulletin.

For the year as a whole, the current account deficit narrowed to 3.3% of GDP from 4.4% in 2015.