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Stats SABL Premium reports that despite the slight moderation in consumer prices in March, economists say it is becoming increasingly unlikely inflation will dip below 5% during the first half of the year.

The likelihood of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) initiating rate cuts at midyear is thus shrinking, with some economists expecting interest rate cuts to only occur from September or even later this year. Stats SA reported on Wednesday that consumer prices eased slightly and for the first time in 2024 to 5.3% in March, down from 5.6% in February. On a month-on-month basis the consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.8% in March. The main contributors were housing and utilities, with the cost of electricity increasing as well as water and other services related to housing and utilities. Miscellaneous goods and services contributed 1.2%, including items such as personal care, and insurance with an inflation rate of close to 10%. The third-largest contributor to inflation in March was food and nonalcoholic beverages, which contributed 0.9%. After the increase in fuel prices earlier this year, transport was the fourth-largest contributor. A recent survey by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) showed that inflation was likely to average 5.4% in 2024, down from 6% in 2023.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Denene Erasmus at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)
  • Read too, Inflation cools to two-month low in March, at Moneyweb
  • En ook, Inflasiekoers daal eerste keer in 2024, by Maroela Media

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page