Money and Markets

Inflation hit a shocking 6.5% in May – but it wasn’t quite that bad in the Western Cape

Business Insider SA
South Africa's annual inflation rate quickened to a 30 month's high. (Image: Getty)
South Africa's annual inflation rate quickened to a 30 month's high. (Image: Getty)

  • Consumer inflation jumped well over the 6% upper target in May, StatsSA data released on Wednesday morning showed.
  • Cooking oil and fuel increases, linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, hit hard.
  • But prices increased more slowly in the Western Cape, at 6.1% compared to the national average of 6.5%.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The consumer price index (CPI) jumped well above the top end of the Reserve Bank's target to an average increase of 6.5% in May, compared to the previous year, Statistics SA said on Wednesday morning.

In the previous month, inflation had been up by 5.9%.

South Africa's inflation target is 4.5%, with a lower limit of 3% and an upper of 6%.

But things were not equally bad everywhere, detailed inflation data showed. In the Western Cape, prices increased significantly more slowly than in other provinces.

Overall inflation was measured at 6.1% in the Western Cape, compared to 6.6% in KwaZulu-Natal and 6.5% in Gauteng. The highest rate of inflation was in Limpopo, with a year-on-year increase of 7.2%.

Other than the Western Cape, only the Free State came in below the national average, with a year-on-year increase of 6.2% in overall CPI.

Differences between provinces were stark in some key categories. For the food basket, year-on-year increases were:

  • Western Cape - 7.2%
  • Eastern Cape - 7.8%
  • Northern Cape, Free State, and Gauteng - 7.9%
  • KwaZulu-Natal and North West - 8.2%
  • Mpumalanga - 8.3%
  • Limpopo - 8.7%

A graph showing consumer inflation rising.
(StatsSA)

Without food and fuel in the basket, consumer inflation would have been at 4.1%, StatsSA said, slightly below the Reserve Bank's target.

The biggest national jumps in prices were related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which contributed to the 32.1% year-on-year increase in cooking oils in rural areas, and to the 14.4% increase in the cost of the fuel and electricity basket.

The year-on-year increase in overall meat prices came in at 9.4%.

The 6.5% jump is the highest since January 2017. 

Service costs remained relatively stable, StatsSA said, with an annual inflation rate of 3.6%, compared to the rate for goods at 9.5%.



Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
15.81
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.41
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
16.70
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.96
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.3%
Gold
1,836.72
+0.5%
Silver
21.42
+1.3%
Palladium
1,955.50
+4.0%
Platinum
918.50
+0.8%
Brent Crude
113.12
+2.7%
Top 40
59,993
0.0%
All Share
66,349
0.0%
Resource 10
64,422
0.0%
Industrial 25
76,590
0.0%
Financial 15
15,623
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo