SA’s Consumer Price Inflation falls to 2.1% – its lowest level since 2004

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), on Wednesday 15 July, said the country’s Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) dropped to its lowest level since 2004.

92256b02 screenshot 2020 07 15 at 10.56.10 - SA’s Consumer Price Inflation falls to 2.1% – its lowest level since 2004
Image via: Stats SA


Annual Consumer Price Inflation fell to its lowest reading since September 2004 and according to Stats SA, it was dragged lower mainly by falling fuel prices. 

“The Consumer Price Inflation, which measures the prices of a range of consumer goods and services, increased by 2,1% in May 2020 compared with May 2019. The reading for September 2004, 15 years and eight months ago, was 1.3%,” Stats SA reported. 

The monthly change in the CPI (from April 2020 to May 2020) was -0.6%.


The most significant price move in May was the fall in fuel prices

The fuel index slumped by 12.2% from April. The transport category — which includes fuel, running costs, vehicle purchases and public transport — was the only contributor to the -0.6% monthly change in the Consumer Price Index. 

“The fuel index is 25.9% lower than it was in May 2019. As a motorist, you are paying less for petrol than you did a year ago. The price of inland 95-octane petrol, for example, was R12.22 per litre in May 2020. In May 2019, the price was R16.67.1,” it said. 


According to Stats SA, the price of meat and dairy has increased but beverages appear to be cheaper. 

“Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices edged up by a monthly average of 0.3% in May, for the third consecutive month. Annual inflation for this category was 4.4%, identical to April’s reading,” it reported. 

Meat prices climbed by 5.5% over the past 12 months but registered a 0.1% fall between April and May. Stewing beef prices are 2.1% lower than they were in April.

Prices of dairy products climbed by 3.7% from April and by 7.1% from May 2019. The oils and fats index rose by 2.3% from April, recording an annual rise of 8.3%. Margarine prices saw a monthly increase of 3.6%. Peanut butter was 5.8% more expensive in May compared with April, recording an annual rise of 16.3%.

“Decreases were seen across most non-alcoholic beverage products with an overall month-on-month price drop of 2.4%. Prices for hot beverages, such as tea and coffee, fell by 1.9% between April and May, with instant coffee prices, in particular, declining by 4.2%. Cold beverage prices fell by 2.7% over the same period,” it said. 

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