South Africa Consumer Price Inflation Accelerates Slightly in May

By Gabriele Steinhauser Features Dow Jones Newswires

South African consumer prices increased by 5.4% in May compared with a year earlier, the country's statistics office said Wednesday.

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That marks a slight acceleration from April's 5.3% annual inflation--mostly reflecting higher food and transport costs--but is still within the South African Reserve Bank's target range of 3% to 6%.

The SARB has been reluctant to cut its main repo rate from the current 7%, saying it first wants to see a sustained decline in the inflation rate. However, pressure on the bank has been growing after Africa's most developed economy slipped into a technical recession in the first quarter.

On Monday, South Africa's official corruption watchdog demanded parliament change the constitution to shift the SARB's mandate away from inflation targeting toward ensuring a more-equal distribution of wealth. The bank has said it will fight Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's demand, saying it falls outside her powers.

Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at Gabriele.Steinhauser@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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June 21, 2017 04:33 ET (08:33 GMT)