I spoke to Lindsay Williams on CNBC Africa’s Business Tonight this week (Jan 20, 2014) where we discussed the price inflation environment in South Africa and what it means for the economy. Video after the link.
Earlier this week, Statistics SA announced in the CPI release that food prices climbed 3.5% in December from a year ago. According to prices that we track at ETM Analytics at four major retailers in the Fourways area of northern Johannesburg, food prices have climbed around 13% annualised since March last year.
The price of raw, whole chicken is up 37% since March, and the price of a 2.5kg bag of Ace maize meal is up more than 13%. Eggs are up 12%, salt 12%, lean beef mince 11%, rice 10%, Valpre water 9%, Pronutro 9%, Coca Cola 8.3%. If you’re a fan of the unhealthy stuff, you’re in luck. Cadbury TopDeck is only up 5%, white bread is only up 2.3%, and the price of 1kg white sugar is down 3%, despite the price of raw sugar falling 20% since March.
I don’t know what Stats SA is doing with prices that they collect and go into their models, but it sure looks very different to what I’m seeing.
I spoke to Bruce Whitfield about ETM Analytics’ household price index inflation that has climbed by 9.2% from March 2013 to November 2013, an annualised rate of increase of 12.4%. This compares with the ‘official’ inflation rate of 5.5% year-on-year in October 2013. (I come in at around the 27 minute mark).
I was on SAfm Market Update with Hilton Tarrant yesterday afternoon to discuss Stats SA’s consumer price index data (inflation data) and what it means. Listen to the interview or read the transcript here.
For those, like Hilton’s co-host David Shapiro, who don’t trust my figures on the year-on-year inflation rate of the JSE All share index, see this chart.
According to the latest statistics from the Central Energy Fund, consumers could be in for another shock with the petrol price rising again by 37 cents a litre, bringing it to just over R12/litre, TimesLive reported yesterday.
If the Reserve Bank stopped its policy of creating price inflation by keeping the exchange ratio of the Rand lower than it otherwise would be (by cutting interest rates and increasing Rand money supply), the petrol price would today be nearer to R3 per liter than R12.
But you can relax dear readers, a friend tells us that what we should really be focusing on are “real” prices, and that because employee compensation is up more than petrol price increases, you are (actually) better off than before.