Inflation cools slightly in November, but food prices continue to rise

Bread and cereal prices were 19.9% ​​higher in November than a year ago, Statistics SA reported.

Photo by Neetu Laddha on Unsplash

Consumer price inflation eased slightly in November to 7.4%, from 7.6% in October.

Source: Statistics SA

But food prices continue to rise, reaching 12.5% ​​in November from 12.0% in October. Bread and cereal prices were 19.9% ​​higher in November than a year ago, according to Statistics SA.

Statistics SA reported that the average price of a 2.5kg bag of maize flour was R34.08 in November, up from less than R25.60 a year ago. In November last year, the average price of a loaf of white bread was around Rs 15.68, which rose to Rs 18.68 in November.

Overall, meat price inflation was 10.5% in November, unchanged from the previous month. But the price of bacon rose by 6.4% in a single month.

Source: Statistics SA

In the year to November, prices for milk, eggs and cheese rose 10.9%, up from 10.5% in October.

Whole milk rose 2.4% from October to November, while coffee whitener prices rose 4.6%.

Source: Statistics SA

But the prices of oils and fats fell for the third consecutive month, to 24.8% from 25.7% in October. The average price of a 750ml bottle of sunflower oil was R38.12 in November, down from a high of R45.33 in July, Statistics SA reported.

Prices for transport (+15.3%) and hotels and restaurants (+7.9%) were much higher than a year earlier.

Statistics SA also recorded large monthly price changes in electronics, including laptops (+1.6%), mobile phones (+1.7%) and digital cameras (5.3%). However, television prices fell by 1.5%.

Overall, the monthly change in the consumer price index (CPI) was 0.3% in November, slightly lower than the 0.4% recorded in October. Annual inflation hit a 13-year high of 7.8% in July.

SA’s Reserve Bank only expects inflation to return “sustainably” to its target level of 4.5% by the second quarter of 2024.

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