South Africa Inflation Hits 6.5% – Highest Rate in 5 Years

South Africa’s inflation rate quickened to 6.5% in May from 5.9% in April 2022, the highest reading in 5 years and breaching the upper limit of the central bank’s target range of between 3% and 6%.

The Department of Statistics in South Africa said that the consumer price index increased by 0.7% month-on-month in May 2022.

Some of the stats are:

  • Transport prices increased by 15.7% year-on-year
  • The price of petrol is almost 27% more expensive than it was in May 2021, and
  • Diesel over 45% more expensive than in May 2021
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 7.6% year-on-year
  • Sunflower oil – the highest weight in the oils and fats group – is almost 40% more expensive than it was a year ago, and recording a 16.1% price jump between April and May 2022


SEE ALSO: Ghana Monthly Inflation Hits 23.6% – The Highest in 18 Years


Inflation in South Africa over a 5-year period

Some of the largest annual price increases (May 2021 vs May 2022) were recorded for the following goods and services:

  • Fuel: +32.5% 
  • Electricity and other fuels: +14.4% 
  • Public transport: +12.5%
  • Meat: +9.4%
  • Bread and cereals: +8.4%
  • Wine: +7.9%
  • Beer: +7.8% 
  • Fish: +6.2% 

In April 2022, fuel prices had risen by 29.2% from a year earlier, with transport increasing by 14.7% and food prices rising by 6%.

Diesel prices jumped by 8.1% between April and May, taking the annual rate to over 45%. The average price of a litre of diesel in May 2021 was R16.20 – meaning it costs R729 to fill a 45-litre tank. 12 months later, with the average price at R23.67 per litre, filling the same tank cost R1,065.

Petrol prices moderated between April and May 2022, edging lower by 0.7%. Despite this decline, petrol is almost 27% more expensive than it was in May 2021

The South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) monetary-policy committee in May 2022 raised the main repo rate by 50 basis points to 4.75% in efforts to contain high inflation.

The SARB expects Africa’s most developed economy to grow 1.7% in 2022.


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