JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s headline consumer price inflation rose to a 30-month high in May, driven by surging food and fuel prices, official data showed Wednesday.

Inflation reached 5.2% year-on-year in May, and up from 4.4% in April, according to Statistics South Africa.

“This is the highest reading since November 2018 when the rate was also 5.2%,“ said director for price statistics Marietjie Bennett.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage price increases accelerated to 6.7% in May from 6.3% the previous month. Such inflation had not been seen since July 2017.

The agency said petrol prices were 41.8% higher in May compared to the same month in the previous year.

It also warned that cooking oil had sharply increased with an annual rise of 30.3% in May.

On a month-to-month basis, StatsSA said the CPI increased by 0.1% in May.

After a plunge in economic activity related to the coronavirus pandemic, South Africa continued its slow recovery in the first quarter of 2021, with GDP growing by 1.1%.

Inflation is rising worldwide as Covid restrictions are eased and economies recover, but central banks say the price rises are temporary. — AFP