Rising costs of essential foods influenced by some global trends, says economist

Statistics South Africa has published its latest figures showing that consumer price inflation has hit a 30-month high. Steep fuel prices have also contributed to increasing costs in the transport sector.

Picture: 123rf

JOHANNESBURG - There's been a drastic rise in the prices of essential food items like cooking oil and tomatoes.

These hikes over the past year have contributed to the rise in the consumer price index to 5.2% in May compared to 4.4% the previous month.

Statistics South Africa has published its latest figures showing that consumer price inflation has hit a 30-month high. Steep fuel prices have also contributed to increasing costs in the transport sector.

“May's reading is the highest since July 2017. Meat, fish, oils and fats and sugar-sweetened desserts recorded rates higher than 6.7%. Cooking oil prices, in particular, have recorded sharp increases, with an annual rise of 30.3% in May,” said Stats SA director for price statistics, Marietjie Bennett.

Economist Siobhan Redford said that these increases were influenced by some global trends.

“These items, even though they having such high levels of change, some of the positives related to the increase in commodities offshore, you know, because remember a lot of our agricultural products are priced in US dollars and follow commodity markets,” she said.

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