HOW HAS INFLATION INCREASED OVER THE YEARS?
According to a cost of living aggregator, SA’s inflation rate has increased between 2% and 15% every year since 1990, with the exception of 2004, which saw a decrease of -0.69%.
The early 1990s saw the highest inflation numbers, with double-digit increases from 1990 to 1992. It dropped below 5% growth in 2004, when it was lower than the global average.
It remained below the world average until 2007 and has not beaten it since.
The global financial crisis from 2007 to 2009 shook world markets, and SA was not exempt. According to the aggregator’s data, in 2008 SA registered double digit inflation for the first time since the early 1990s, at 10.7%, before dropping to 7.22% the next year.
THE PAST FEW MONTHS?
Inflation jumped to the highest level in almost five years in December last year, to 5.9%, amid economic fallout from, among other factors, the Covid-19 pandemic
According to Stats SA, in January the rate was at 4.5%, nudging up to 4.6% in February. It increased in March, as the world felt the aftershock of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to 5.9%. It remained unchanged in April.
Figures for May are expected later this month.
WHAT PRICES SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT?
High fuel prices and an increase in vehicle running costs have been highlighted. A slight softening in annual food and nonalcoholic beverages inflation was reported, but concern was raised about oils and fats, hot beverages and meat.
The average price of sunflower oil (750ml) increased from R31.24 in March to R34.89 in April.
Coffee also became more expensive. Significant monthly increases were recorded for ground coffee (up 2.4%) and instant coffee (up 2.1%) in April, with the price of cappuccino sachets rising by 1%. Black tea prices increased on average by 0.6%, but Rooibos declined by 0.2%.
In terms of meat and poultry, there were notable increases for stewing beef (up 2.8%), mince (up 2.2%) and individually quick frozen chicken portions (up 1.4%).
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