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      Inflation dips lower in July

      Annual consumer price inflation retreated to 4,0% in July from 4,5% in June. This is the lowest CPI headline rate since January, when it was also 4,0%. A fall in fuel prices and a rise in municipal tariffs were the key price movers during the month.

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      Fuel prices edged lower in July, bringing some relief to motorists. This dragged annual transport inflation down to 3,0% from 5,5% recorded in June, which mainly explains the drop to 4,0% in the CPI headline rate. The price per litre of inland 95-octane petrol was R15,81 in July 2019. In July 2018, motorists were paying R16,02 per litre.1 The fuel price index dropped by 5,1% month-on-month, and fuel prices overall were 0,5% lower than they were a year ago.

      Most municipalities increase their tariffs annually with effect from July. Household utility payments, which include municipal rates, electricity and water bills, contribute 6,9% of total household spending in South Africa’s CPI. Electricity tariffs increased by 10,5% in July 2019, higher than last year’s increase of 6,8%. Water tariffs rose by 10,3%, slightly lower than the 11,8% rise recorded in 2018. Municipal rates were up by 6,3%, lower than 2018’s 14,8%.

      Annual food and non-alcoholic beverage inflation was 3,4% in July, down from June’s 3,7%.? Prices for bread and cereal products continued to climb, registering an annual rise of 7,9%. This was slightly higher than June’s 7,3%. Meat prices increased by 0,2% annually compared with 0,3% recorded in June.

      For more information, download the Consumer Price Index (CPI) release for July 2019 here.

      1 Department of Energy, Comparing prices for petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin (IP) (click here).

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