Annual consumer price inflation rose to 5.9% in March from 5.7% in February, driven in large part by fuel price hikes. In releasing the data, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says that fuel and transport costs continue to rise resulting in consumer price inflation increase.

“Fuel prices increased by 7,2% between February and March, with inland 95-octane petrol rising by R1,46 per litre to reach a record high of R21,60 per litre.3 Fuel prices rose by an eye-watering 33,2% in the twelve months to March, with petrol prices climbing by 32,6% and diesel by 35,1%.”

Food and non-alcoholic beverages (NAB) inflation has moderated slightly. “Bread and cereal prices increased at a monthly rate of 1,1% in March after recording a 2,4% jump in February.”

“Other food categories in the CPI basket that registered price increases between February and March include meat; milk, eggs and cheese; fish; and sugar, sweets and desserts,” said Stats SA.

While transport costs were the main driver of the CPI increase there are other sectors that are also steadily increasing. In the CPI data leases its noted that “Stats SA surveys educational institutions and crèches once a year in March. After dropping to a 30-year low of 4,1% in 20214, annual education inflation edged higher to 4,4% in 2022. Primary and secondary school fees increased by 4,5% and tertiary fees rose by 4,2%.”

The latest inflation number remains within the SA Reserve Bank’s 3% to 6% target range.

For more information, download the March 2022 CPI statistical release here.