Statistics Annual headline inflation in South Africa jumped to 5.9% in December 2021, up from 5.5 percent in November 2021, according to the latest consumer price index.
This is the highest annual growth since March 2017, when the rate was 6.1 percent, according to the statistics body (19 January).
The main contributors to the annual inflation rate of 5.9% were food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous goods and services. Food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 5.5 percent year over year, adding one point to the overall CPI annual rate.
The following commodities and services saw some of the largest annual price increases between December 2020 and December 2021:
A. Fuel: +40.5%
B. Oils and fats: +20.8%
C. Meat: +8.6%
D. Wine: +7.8%
F. Electricity and other fuels: +14%
G. Milk, eggs and cheese: +5.3%
— Fuel hikes
In December's inflation reading, the same factors that have been driving up the cost of living in recent months were also at play. According to StatsSA, there have been significant price rises in the transportation category, particularly in fuel, as well as in critical food categories such as meat and oils and fats.
"P.m.s prices escalated by 40.5 percent in December 2021 compared to December 2020, with onshore 95-octane petrol costing R20.29 per litre. For the first time, the price has broken through the R20 per litre threshold.
"The major reason for the 16.8 percent annual increase in the transport index, up from 15,0 percent in November, is the record rise in fuel prices." The headline rate for transportation climbed by 2.3 percentage points to 5.9%.
In December, the food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by 5.5 percent year over year.
The most noticeable increase was in the annual rate for beef, which grew by 8.6% in December, slightly higher than November's estimate of 8.5 percent. Between November and December, beef goods saw significant price hikes, with steak up 2.8 percent, stewing beef up 2.4 percent, and mince up 1.3 percent.
Oils and fats continue to have quite high rates of inflation, with a 20.8 percent annual increase in December, somewhat lower than November's 21%. In December, the average price of a 750 mL container of cooking oil climbed by 19c to R30.22. The price of a jar of peanut butter (400 grams) has risen by 60 cents to R34.52.
Bread and grain inflation slowed in 2021, dropping to 1.8 percent in December from a high of 4.9 percent in May.
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