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Consumer inflation shoots up in November, highest level in over four years

Consumers will continue paying steep prices for goods and services as headline inflation accelerated to its highest in more than four-and-a-half years in November, driven mostly by rising transport costs. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Consumers will continue paying steep prices for goods and services as headline inflation accelerated to its highest in more than four-and-a-half years in November, driven mostly by rising transport costs. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Dec 15, 2021

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CONSUMERS will continue paying steep prices for goods and services as headline inflation accelerated to its highest in more than four-and-a-half years in November, driven mostly by rising transport costs.

Today, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said the consumer price index (CPI) rose to 5.5 percent in November, up from 5 percent recorded in October and September.

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This was the biggest increase in the annual consumer inflation since March 2017 when the rate was 6.1 percent.

Monthly, consumer inflation rose 0.5 percent from October to November.

Stats SA said the transport category continued to be the major factor behind inflation, recording an annual increase of 15 percent in November.

This made transport the only major group in the inflation basket with an annual rate above the six percent upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy target range of three to six percent.

Stats SA said fuel prices increased by 7.1 percent between October and November, taking the annual rate to 34.5 percent.

The price of inland 95-octane petrol was R19.54 per litre in November 2021, compared with R14.59 in November 2020, while the diesel index increased by 35.1 percent over the same period.

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“In 2021, headline inflation was mostly higher than the CPI, excluding fuel, indicating the impact of rapidly rising fuel prices,” Stats SA said.

“Public transport tariffs recorded a monthly increase of 1.7 percent and an annual rise of 8.3 percent. On average, vehicles are 5.6 percent more expensive than they were in November 2020.”

However, food inflation slowed in November as prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages recorded an annual increase of 5.5 percent and a monthly rise of 0.1 percent.

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The annual increase was the lowest in nine months, since February 2021 when the rate was 5.2 percent.

Stats SA said meat inflation slowed for the third-consecutive month, recording an annual rise of 8.5 percent, down from 10.7 percent recorded in August 2021.

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