Stats SABusinessLive reports that consumer inflation rose at a faster pace in January, according to data released by Statistics SA on Tuesday.  Annual consumer price inflation (CPI) was 4.5% in January, up from 4.0% in December, buoyed, among other factors, by increases in fuel prices.  

Despite January’s uptick, at this level, inflation has been at or below the midpoint of the SA Reserve Bank’s target range of between 3% and 6% since December 2018.  The Bank expects inflation to average 4.7% this year.  The main drivers of the increase, according to Stats SA, included food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, as well as transport.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages, which makes up about 17% of the CPI basket, increased by 3.7% year on year, contributing 0.6 of a percentage point to the total annual rate.  Housing and utilities, which includes owners’ equivalent rental and makes up almost 25% of the inflation basket, increased by 4.7% year on year, and contributed 1.2 percentage points to the increase.  The transport component was another key feature increasing by 6.4% year on year.  Fuel prices rose 13.7% on an annual basis.

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