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Consumer inflation jumps sharply higher in April

by , 20 May 2015

Earlier today, Stats SA released its consumer inflation data for April. The data showed a steep rise in the consumer price index (CPI).

But in spite of the rise, it was slightly below expectations.

Let's take a closer look at what the data revealed…

Consumer inflation hits 4.5% last month

Consumer inflation rose to “4.5% year-on-year in April,” reports IOL. That’s up from the 4% reported in March.

This was slightly less than the predicted 4.6%, says BDLive. This keeps inflation “within the 3% to 6% target band”.

Looking at the data from month-to-month, inflation climbed 0.9% from March to April, says iAfrica. That’s a slower rise than the 1.4% increase between February and March.

Consumer inflation data for March marked the first rise in six months. This has coincided with rises in the price of petrol, notes Fin24.

Inflation is likely to continue to climb

Over the next few months, “inflation is expected to edge higher,” says BDLive. This as “higher petrol and electricity costs” kick in.

Not helping the situation is the “weakness of the rand,” notes MoneyWeb.

Rising inflation will put pressure on the Reserve Bank to hike interest rates despite poor economic growth.

Annabel Bishop, Investec’s chief economist, believes the monetary policy committee would likely “hike rates in the second half of this year,” adds BDLive. Economists at Nedbank think the bank will hold off with a hike until November.

The monetary policy committee is to announce the outcome of its meeting tomorrow. The bank hasn’t increased rates since July last year when it added 0.25% to the repo rate, says MoneyWeb.

So perhaps some good news that the rate of inflation didn’t surprise to the upside. Yet it has climbed steeply over the past two months. With fuel and electricity costs rising, the Reserve Bank may have to act soon to keep inflation within its target range.

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Consumer inflation jumps sharply higher in April
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