Inflation in South Africa has accelerated to its highest level in 13 years in July, caused mainly by surging food, transport and electricity prices.
South Africa’s Bureau of Statistics in a statement on Wednesday reveals that consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 7.8 percent in July, up from 7.4 percent in June.
The publication of the latest statistics coincided with protests in major cities over the worsening economic conditions, which have particularly affected the poorest in the continent.
The rising cost of living is taking a toll on a population where the unemployment rate hovers near 34 percent, while the government called the unemployment figures a “major concern” on Wednesday, saying more needed to be done to improve conditions caused by the pandemic.
The statement describes rising inflation figure as bad news for consumers, and economists sees the country as likely reaching a high point.
An economist, Dawie Roodt, explains that Inflation will be lower this time next year, stating that Inflation has been soaring worldwide, fueled by supply chain disruptions after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions as well as surging energy and food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rising inflation prompted the country’s central bank to impose the steepest hike to the benchmark interest rate last month, raising it by three-quarters of a percentage point to 5.5 percent. and Roodt said another hike is likely to come.
Writing by Julian Osamoto; editing by Adeniyi Bakare