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No respite for South African consumers as food inflation accelerates further in February 2023

Updated Mar 23, 2023
Statistics South Africa's latest update on the country's headline inflation accelerated to 7% year-on-year.
In the food basket, the bread and cereals category posted the highest increase of 20.5% year-on-year in February 2023 although slightly slower than the 21.8% pace for January. This again reflects price gains of raw commodities in 2022 that manufacturers are still carrying, and further exacerbated by the cost pressures emanating from load shedding. Moreover, this category’s weight is significant in the food basket at 21%. Nonetheless, we have seen some moderation in grain prices relative to 2022 levels and hopefully, this will be reflected in the next few months given the lag in the pass-through to the consumer prices. Meat, with a higher weight of 35% in the food basket saw an increase of 11.4% year-on-year in February 2023 but decelerated to 0.2% month-on-month after jumping 2.6% month-on-month in January. Unrelenting cost pressures emanating from elevated feed costs and load shedding were the biggest drivers of higher meat inflation as producers especially of intensive ...
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