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Slow down in CPI rate was expected, says analyst

South Africa's consumer price inflation has slowed to 6.3% in February compared to the same time last year.

Statistics generic. Picture: Freeimages.

CAPE TOWN - South Africa's consumer price inflation has slowed to 6.3% in February compared to the same time last year.

Statistic’s South Africa data shows this is 0.3 percentage points down from January’s rate of 6,6%.

Market analyst George Glynos says this was expected.

“I think the real story is not about what’s going on with inflation in the year now, it’s about what we can anticipate at the backend of this year and the beginning of next year. We think we can anticipate a very sharp decline in inflation.”

Meanwhile, the food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate has also slowed down to 9.9% year-on-year.

The Agricultural Chamber's Wandile Sihlobo says this is the lowest it’s been since March last year.

“If you look at the other commodity prices then everything is maintain the downward trend. The key commodities like maize is already down by about 50% on a year-on-year basis. All of this is due to the harvest we’re expecting.”

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%.

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.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)