Petrol price hikes and rising food prices push up cost of living

Sharp increases in the price of basic foodstuffs such as maize meal and tinned fish, allied with the soaring fuel price and municipal charges, are reflected in the latest consumer price index (CPI).

Petrol price rises are hitting households hard, as are above-inflation rises in basic foods.
Image: Theo Jeptha

Annual consumer inflation was 4.5% in May 2019, compared with 4.4% in April.

Prices increased by 0.3% on average in May, said Statistics SA.

This was mainly driven by a 3.3% rise in fuel prices. The price per litre of inland 95-octane petrol was R16.67 in May and diesel was R16.40. Fuel prices have increased by 11.6% in the past 12 months.

A noticeable trend over 2019 has been the uptick in the prices of some basic foodstuffs, StatsSA noted.

Of the 34 products in the CPI basket that comprise the minimum food requirements for poverty analysis, 20 registered an annual increase above the 3.2% inflation rate recorded for food and non-alcoholic beverages in May. Among these, 11 showed an increase above the monthly 0.3% rise for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Maize meal increased by 11.4% this year between January and May, and by 1.4% over    April and May.

In May, annual inflation for tinned fish (excluding tuna) was 7.4%, and monthly prices were up by 1%.

Mageu prices climbed by 8.5% (annual) and 0.6% (monthly) and cooking oil prices rose by 7.3% (annual) and 1.4% (monthly).

Fruit juice and potatoes both increased by 7.7% annually, with fruit juice registering a monthly rise of 2.7% and potatoes 0.7%.

Canned fizzy drink prices increased by 8.9% since May 2018, and by 1% from April this year.

Housing and utilities increased by 4.5% year-on-year.

Transport increased by 7.1% year-on-year (mainly due to fuel), by 1% month-on-month, and contributed 0.1 of a percentage point to the total month-on-month increase of 0.3%.

BY TIMESLIVE

Source: TMG Digital

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