Home National SA’s Inflation Eases to 5.2% in April: Food Prices Show Mixed Trends

SA’s Inflation Eases to 5.2% in April: Food Prices Show Mixed Trends

by Central News Reporter
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Consumer price inflation soars to 7.4% - Stats SA

Inflation

Inflation has shown a slight deceleration in April, marking a consumer price index (CPI) decline to 5.2%, down from 5.3% in March and 5.6% in February. This is according to the latest data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

Stats SA noted that while general food inflation has slowed, specific categories like fresh produce and hot beverages still witnessed notable price increases.

“On average, vegetable prices increased by 7.4% in the 12 months to April, higher than the 6.0% increase recorded in March. Vegetable products that recorded relatively high price increases include potatoes, frozen potato chips, broccoli, and beans,” Stats SA reported.

Fruit prices also saw an uptick, with the annual rate for fruit rising to 4.5% in April from 3.3% in March. Stats SA attributed this increase mainly to higher costs for bananas and apples. Similarly, there was a marginal increase in hot beverage inflation, which rose from 11.2% to 11.4% during the same period. Instant coffee and black tea prices have remained elevated.

Positively, the inflation rate for bread and cereals has continued to decline for the 12th consecutive month.

“The annual rate eased to 4.3% from 5.0% in March. Bread flour, cake flour, ready-mix flour, white bread, pasta, rusks, savoury biscuits, and maize meal are cheaper than a year ago,” Stats SA confirmed. “The average price of a loaf of white bread was R18.43 in April 2024, down from R19.07 in April 2023. However, sharp price increases were recorded for rice, pizzas and pies, instant noodles, and sweet biscuits. Annual rice inflation accelerated to 26.4%, the highest reading since May 2009.”

The annual inflation rate for sugar, sweets, and desserts also decelerated to 16.8% in April. Additionally, egg inflation cooled for the fifth consecutive month.

“After peaking at 39.9% in November 2023, it receded to 25.1% in April 2024. Except for whiteners, condensed milk, Gouda cheese and fresh cream, most products in the milk, eggs, and cheese category recorded lower annual rates in April. This pulled overall inflation for the category down to 8.7% from 10.1% in March,” Stats SA concluded.

This mixed inflationary trend suggests that while some staples are becoming more affordable, certain key food items continue to exert pressure on household budgets.

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