South Africa Consumer Price Inflation Accelerates Slightly in May

By Gabriele SteinhauserFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

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

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%.

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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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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