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Stats SABusinessLive reports that consumer inflation eased to 4.5%, the mid-point of the SA Reserve Bank’s 3% to 6% target range, in December 2018, aided by a steep petrol price decrease that month.  

November had seen a rate of 5.2%.  After being hard hit by fuel price increases for much of 2018, motorists welcomed a record fuel price drop of R1.84/l for petrol and R1.45/I for diesel in December.  Inflation in January is also likely to show inflation moderating as more fuel cuts take hold.  Inflation, as measured by the annual change in the consumer price index (CPI), is the key measure used by the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee to set interest rates.  The Bank lowered its inflation forecasts last week, but noted that risks to the inflation outlook remained moderately to the upside, citing administered prices, rising domestic food prices, changing investor sentiment towards emerging markets, a moderation in global growth, and volatile international oil prices.  Nedbank economist Busisiwe Radebe said inflation would likely remain relatively contained in 2019 on the back of softer food and fuel prices.  Even if the trend lifts towards the middle of the year, inflation is expected to remain around the mid-point of the target range.

  • Read Sunita Menon’s report on this matter in full at BusinessLive

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