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Statistics South Africa: Inflation slowed in April

The Consumer Price Index, or inflation, has slightly slowed to some 5.2% in April – down from 5.3% in March and 5.6% in February, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). The institution said general food inflation slowed over that period except for fresh produce and hot beverages.

"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.

"The annual rate for fruit rose from 3.3% in March to 4.5%, mainly driven by higher prices for bananas and apples. Hot beverage inflation increased marginally from 11.2% to 11.4%. The rates for instant coffee and black tea remain in double-digit territory," Stats SA said.

The inflation for bread and cereal also slowed for the 12th month in a row in April. "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.

"The average price of a loaf of white bread was R18.43 in April 2024, down from R19.07 in April 2023. On the other hand, 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 when the rate was 41.9%," the institution said.

"[This] after peaking at 39.9% in November 2023, then receding 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 said.


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