South Africa's Inflation At 3-Year Low

21 Марта, 2018, 08:16 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • Inflation

"The Consumer Prices Index 12-month rate was 2.7 percent in February 2018, down from 3.0 percent in January 2018", the Office for National Statistics said in a statement on Tuesday.

However, she expected the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to average around 5.5 percent for next year.

The lower inflation figures in February beat economists' consensus of 4.2 percent.

Tuesday's weaker-than-expected figure is unlikely to prompt a rethink among investors about their bets that the BoE will raise interest rates again in May for only the second time in more than a decade.

"A small fall in petrol prices alongside food prices rising more slowly than previous year helped pull down inflation", Phil Gooding, the ONS' head of consumer price inflation said.

Economists and the Bank of England believe inflation's upward march has run its course and will start to unwind in 2018.

"The UK recovery is now almost nine years old, and yet our official interest rate is exactly where it was nine years ago".

Despite the fall in inflation, many households are still feeling pressure in their budgets.

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February's slowdown however calls into doubt whether the Bank of England will increase its main interest rate this Thursday as expected ahead of the latest data.

Phil Gooding, ONS head of CPI, said: "A small fall in petrol prices alongside food prices rising more slowly than a year ago helped pull down inflation, as numerous early 2017 price increases due to the previous depreciation of the pound have started to work through the system".

The central bank bases its interest rate decisions on what inflation is likely to be six to twenty-four months in the future, instead of what it has come out recently at, Bishop added. It expects wages to grow more quickly than inflation.

Khalaf said that while falling inflation should go some way to alleviating the consumer squeeze, annual price rises are still high for essential items like electricity, food and transport.

"Whilst we are moving back towards a position where there will be growth in real wages, that is wages adjusted for inflation, any substantial growth in real living standards is still some way off".

Prices in London alone were 2.1 percent higher than a year earlier compared with a 1.8 percent rise in December.

The BoE warned in February that it will raise interest rates faster than markets had been expecting if the inflation outlook evolves in line with its latest set of forecasts.

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