March inflation back in Reserve Bank's target range

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March inflation quickened to 3.2%, up from 2.9% in February, data from Stats SA shows.

The rise sees inflation back in the SA Reserve Bank's (SARB's) target range of 3% and 6%. The bank expects inflation to creep up this year, but to remain around the midpoint of 4.5%, Fin24 previously reported.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation picked up 0.7%.

"All product groups are either below or within the SARB's target range," Stats SA's chief director of price statistics, Patrick Kelly.

The main contributors to the 3.2% annual inflation rate were food and non-alcoholic beverages which increased 5.7%, housing and utilities which increased 2.2%, transport which increased 3.8%, and miscellaneous goods and services which increased 4%.

Education fees are surveyed in March and reported their lowest annual inflation rate in three decades at 4.1%. Last year the rise in fees was 6.4%. Fee rises for primary and secondary institutions and pre-schools were low. However tertiary fee rises report an increase of 5.1% compared to 4.7% last year.

Notably fuel prices were 2.3% higher in March, this is the first time in 12 months that fuel prices increased on an annual basis. "For the first time in a year - motorists are now paying more for fuel than were 12 months before," Kelly said.

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