June's CPI inflation rate up to 4.7% - Stats SA

JULY 22, 2015

The headline CPI annual inflation rate in June 2015 was 4.7%, Stats SA has announced on Wednesday. 

"This rate was 0.1 of a percentage point higher than the corresponding annual rate of 4.6% in May 2015," Stats SA said in a statement. "On average, prices increased by 0.4% between May 2015 and June 2015."

The increase in the CPI will be important to note as the SA Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee meets this week to determine whether to increase the country's repo rate. An announcement is expected on Thursday.

The CPI rate corresponds with an earlier prediction by The Inflation Factory (TIF).

This is the fourth monthly increase in year-on-year (y/y) inflation following six months of decreases, according to TIF's Riyadh Bhyat.

“Simple projections of CPI show the y/y rate continuing to increase through to January 2016, with a strong chance of (the CPI) breaching the 6% ceiling by that time,” he said.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages index decreases 

Stats SA said the food and non-alcoholic beverages index decreased by 0.3% between May 2015 and June 2015. The annual rate decreased to 4.3% in June 2015 from 4.7% in May 2015.

The following components in the food and non-alcoholic beverages index decreased: fruit (-3.6%), vegetables (-1.8%), bread and cereals (-0.2%) and fish (-0.2%).

The following components increased: hot beverages (0.4%), oils and fats (0.3%), milk, eggs and cheese (0.2%), sugar, sweets and desserts (0.2%) and meat (0.1%).

The housing and utilities index increased by 0.7% between May 2015 and June 2015, mainly due to a 1.1% increase in actual rentals for housing and a 1.0% increase in owners’ equivalent rent. The annual rate decreased to 5.4% in June 2015 from 5,6% in May 2015.

The transport index increased by 1.4% between May 2015 and June 2015, mainly due to a 47c/litre increase in the price of petrol. The annual rate increased to 0.7% in June 2015 from -0.7% in May 2015.


Cost of books goes up, up and up

Examining the price of books over the last year, TIF revealed that there was a 21% increase in book prices over the last year, which he said “bodes ill for broadening the number of South African readers”.

Only 14% of South Africans consider themselves committed to reading, with a main reason for this being the high purchase price of books which discourages mass consumption, according to Factors Influencing the Cost of Books in South Africa, SABDC.