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.
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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