VAAL TRIANGLE - Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says the annual change in the consumer price index (CPI) in August was 4.9%. This was slightly higher than July’s increase of four-point-six percent and identical to the reading in June. Pricier petrol and diesel, as well as increases in vehicle prices, contributed to the higher inflation. Fuel prices increased by 4.9% between July and August, and by 19.6% over the last 12 months. Statistics SA said vehicle prices increased at a rate higher than overall inflation across all 16 months from May 2020 to August 2021. There was also a sharp 22% spike in airfares between July and August, which contributed to transport inflation.
Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 6.9% - the highest level of food inflation since June 2017 when it was also 6.9%. But Statistics SA says there are signs that food inflation may be slowing down. While meat prices are still climbing - up almost 11% in August, prices for bread and cereal products fell by 0.5%. Maize meal prices decreased by 1.2% and white bread by 1.1%. Cooking oil prices dipped by 0.4% and margarine by 0.8% month-on-month. Chief Director for Price Statistics, Patrick Kelly, says this is the fourth consecutive month where the annual increase has been higher than the Reserve Bank’s 4.5% midpoint.