Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Wednesday, 20 September 2023 12:39

Consumer inflation ticks upwards to 4,8% in August 2023.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The headline consumer inflation edged up to 4.8% year-on-year in August from 4.7% in July data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

The statistics agency said core inflation also rose to 4.8% year-on-year in August from 4.7% in July.

Patrick Kelly, Chief Director for Price Statistics, said the slight increase comes in spite of lower food prices.

"This was not enough, however, to counteract a rise in fuel prices and increases in municipal tariffs.

The monthly change in the consumer price index was 0,3%, down from 0,9% in July. The housing & utilities and transport categories drove much of the 0.3% increase, each contributing 0,1 of a percentage point to the monthly rate," says Kelly.

Kelly said the annual inflation for food & Non-alcoholic beverages declined for a fifth straight month, softening from 9,9% in July to 8,0% in August.

The figures came a day before the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will announce its latest interest rate decision on Thursday.

Analysts expect the SARB will leave its main interest rate unchanged as inflation is comfortably within its target range of 3% to 6%.

The SARB held off from a rate hike when it met in July – its first 'hold' decision after 10 consecutive hikes aimed at curbing inflation.

The bank's Monetary Policy Committee has stressed it wants to see inflation sustainably around the midpoint of its target band before it contemplates rate cuts.