The consumer price index (CPI) for urban areas dipped slightly in May compared to April, however, prices for the average basket of food still increased over the same period, Statistics SA (Stats SA) revealed yesterday.
The chief director for price statistics at Stats SA, Patrick Kelly, said prices had increased on average by 0.2%, while the CPI had come down by 0.1%.
“Food prices were on average unchanged, with price declines for grains, oil and sugar,” said Kelly. “This is on the back of lower prices for the component agricultural commodities.
“Further pass through of VAT and other taxes appears muted with only nonalcoholic beverages and some food products both showing 0.5% month-on-month increase.”
He noted that rooibos tea had increased by 5.3% and black tea by 2.3% from April, while meat inflation continued to slow with an increase of 7.8%, the lowest since December 2016 when it was 7.6%.
“Alcoholic beverages increased by 0.8% per month following a 1.6% increase per month between March and April. This category now has an annual inflation of 8.6%. Beer has had an annual increase of 9.3%,” Kelly said.
With petrol going up by 49 cents per litre in May, fuel was now 9.4% more expensive than it was in May last year.
In May, the CPI for goods increased by 3.5% year-on-year and the CPI for services increased by 5.3% year-on-year, both unchanged from April.