South Africa Annual Inflation Rises to 5.9% in February


South Africa's inflation rate spiked to 5.9% year-over-year in February, well above expectations and just shy of the central bank's 6% target ceiling. Compared with the previous month, the inflation rate increased 1%, mainly due to higher fuel and health insurance costs.

The headline CPI (for all urban areas) annual inflation rate in February 2013 was 5.9%. This rate was 0.5 of a percentage point higher than the corresponding annual rate of 5.4% in January 2013. On average, prices increased by 1.0% between January 2013 and February 2013.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages index decreased by 0.6% between January 2013 and February 2013. The annual rate decreased to 6.1% in February 2013 from 6.2% in January 2013. The following components in the food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased: milk, eggs and cheese (1.3%), sugar, sweets and desserts (1.2%), oils and fats (1.1%), hot beverages (0.8%), fish (0.3%) and cold beverages (0.2%). The following components decreased: fruit (-1.9%), meat (-1.7%), vegetables (-1.2%), bread and cereals (-0.9%) and other food (-0.2%). 
 
The transport index increased by 1.3% between January 2013 and February 2013, mainly due to a 41c/litre increase in the price of petrol. The annual rate increased to 5.5% in February 2013 from 5.1% in January 2013.
 
The restaurants and hotels index increased by 0.3% between January 2013 and February 2013. The annual rate decreased to 7.2% in February 2013 from 7.3% in January 2013. 
 
The miscellaneous goods and services index increased by 5.4% between January 2013 and February 2013, mainly due to a 9.9% increase in health insurance. The annual rate increased to 7.5% in February 2013 from 4.9% in January 2013. 
 
The provinces with an annual inflation rate lower than or equal to headline inflation were Northern Cape (5.9%), KwaZulu-Natal (5.9%), Gauteng (5.9%), Limpopo (5.8%), Free State (5.5%), Western Cape (5.4%) and Eastern Cape (5.4%). The provinces with an annual inflation rate higher than headline inflation were North West (6.4%) and Mpumalanga (6.1%).

Statistics South Africa | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com |
3/20/2013 8:38:50 AM