South Africa’s Consumer Price Index Remains Steady at 5.2% in May 2024

  • South Africa's Consumer Price Index remains at 5.2% in May 2024.
  • Key contributors include housing, utilities, miscellaneous goods, and transport.
  • Inflation varies by region and income group, affecting food, transport, and miscellaneous services.

Statistics South Africa released the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures today, revealing that the annual inflation rate for all urban areas remained unchanged at 5.2% in May 2024. This steady rate mirrors the inflation observed in April 2024. On a month-to-month basis, the CPI saw a slight increase of 0.2%.

Key contributors to the 5.2% annual inflation rate include:

  • Housing and Utilities: Increased by 5.8% year-on-year, contributing 1.4 percentage points.
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services: Rose by 7.1% year-on-year, contributing 1.1 percentage points.
  • Transport: Increased by 6.3% year-on-year, contributing 0.9 percentage points.
  • Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Increased by 4.7% year-on-year, contributing 0.9 percentage points.

In May 2024, the annual inflation rate for goods was 5.7%, unchanged from April 2024. The inflation rate for services saw a slight increase from 4.6% in April to 4.7% in May.

Survey Schedules and Updates

It is important to note that not all items in the CPI basket are surveyed monthly. Additional surveys are conducted when significant price changes are identified outside the regular survey months. An update to the CPI basket of goods and services, along with respective weights, is scheduled for the January 2025 CPI release. This update will be based on the income and expenditure survey completed in November 2023.

Detailed Results

A breakdown of the main indices shows the following:

  • All items (CPI Headline): Index at 115.3, up by 0.2% month-on-month and 5.2% year-on-year.
  • CPI excluding food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel, and energy: Index at 112.3, with a 0.1% monthly increase and a 4.6% annual rise.
  • CPI for all goods: Index at 119.4, up by 0.3% month-on-month and 5.7% year-on-year.
  • CPI for services: Index at 111.3, showing a 0.1% monthly increase and a 4.7% annual rise.

Geographic and Demographic Breakdown

Inflation rates varied across different provinces and expenditure deciles. The Western Cape saw a year-on-year inflation rate of 5.7%, while Limpopo experienced the lowest at 4.2%. The highest inflation rates by expenditure decile were observed in the lowest income groups, with Decile 1 experiencing a 6.1% increase.

Sector-Specific Insights

  • Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Prices rose by 4.7% year-on-year, with notable increases in vegetables (7.6%) and milk, eggs, and cheese (7.5%).
  • Transport: The sector saw a 6.3% year-on-year rise, driven by a 9.3% increase in fuel prices.
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services: This category increased by 7.1% year-on-year, influenced by a rise in insurance costs (8.0%).

The data underscores the persistent inflationary pressures within key sectors of the economy, affecting both goods and services.

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