November inflation ticks slightly higher to 5.2%

November inflation ticked up to 5.2%, according to data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Wednesday. 

This is up from inflation of 5.1% recorded for October. 

Analysts from NKC Economics had forecasted inflation to come in at 5.2%.

RMB Global Markets Research head Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana expected inflation figures to be unchanged at 5.1%, due to "relatively stable" fuel prices.  

The main contributors to inflation were alcoholic beverages and tobacco which increased to 4.8%, year-on-year, followed by miscellaneous goods and services which increased by 5.5% year-on-year.

On a month-on-month basis, November inflation increased by 0.2%. The main contributors to monthly inflation were food and non-alcoholic beverages, up 0.4% and transport up 0.6%.

In November inflation for goods increased by 5.3% year-on-year, from 5.1% in October, and the inflation for services was unchanged at 5.1% year-on-year, according to Stats SA.

Stats SA tweeted that fuel inflation is up 23.1% compared to a year ago.

Similarly, rooibos tea is 18.5% more expensive than it was a year ago, according to Stats SA.

In a report Investec economist Lara Hodes commented that the subsiding fuel price should help improve December's inflation figures, which is likely to be 4.5%.

Consumer inflation is expected to average around 4.5% in 2019, which is the midpoint of the Reserve Bank's target range of 3% to 6%, she added. However, electricity tariffs and the weakening rand pose risks to inflation.

Retail sales data for October will be released at 13:00. NKC analysts expect sales growth to accelerate to 2.5%, from 0.7% recorded in September. 

US consumer inflation data will also be released later with expectations that it will decline to 2.2% from 2.5%, given weaker energy prices in November, according to NKC. 


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