Economist: Latest CPI figure reflects actual prices

On Wednesday, Stats SA released the February CPI rate, which was 2.9% year on year slowing from 3.2% in January.

FILE: The annual prices for items such as milk, bread, cereals increased but there was also decreases in maize meal prices. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG – Economist Elna Moolman said the latest Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) figure reflected actual price movement in the economy as opposed to the earlier days of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions when data was limited.

On Wednesday, Stats SA released the February CPI rate, which was 2.9% year-on-year slowing from 3.2% in January.

Although most South Africans still feel the pinch of the cost of goods and services, the release shows significant price declines as compared to last year.

Despite there being no base prices available for comparison of alcoholic drinks in February as a result of COVID-19 related restrictions, Moolman said this would not have an impact on the CPI rate.

“This is having less of an effect because there was a time last year, during the strictest lockdown levels, where that absolutely dominated the numbers. We have now moved on to a point where the data is more reflective of actual prices.”

The annual prices for items such as milk, bread, cereals increased but there was also decreases in maize meal prices.

However, the significant decline that drove the CPI was recorded in health inflation.

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