CPI dips lower to 4.1% in March

Annual CPI inflation dipped lower to 4.1% in March from February’s reading of 4.6%, according to data from Stats SA on Wednesday.

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JOHANNESBURG - The country’s CPI inflation decreased to 4.1% in March compared to the 4.6% recorded in months prior.

Stats SA has announced that the March figures were influenced by the inclusion of fee data from educational institutions, including universities and crèches, as well as increases in excise tariffs.

While the current COVID-19 pandemic has had a hand in the decline recorded for the March CPI, Stats SA said that tuition fees, which were surveyed only in March, played a role.

The consumer price index measures monthly changes in prices for a range of consumer products.

The data collection body said that primary and secondary school feels saw higher increases in 2020 than the last year, with a 7.3% for primary and 7.6% for high schools.

The increase of sin taxes during the February Budget Speech also played a role in the dip, after the prices of alcoholic and tobacco products were increased by 1.4% and 2.6% respectively.

However, more crucial is an indicator of things to come as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Stats SA said that the monthly decline in prices of travel and tourism in March came when the lockdown restrictions were first effected.

Car rental fees, airfares and prices for holiday packages declined by 7.3%, 4.4% and 2.4% respectively.

Hotels saw a 1.3% decrease.