South Africa’s annual headline consumer price index (CPI) increased to 4.5%
CPI increased to 4.5%
South Africa’s annual headline consumer price index (CPI) increased to
4.5% in March from 4.1% in February, according to Stats SA.
South Africa’s annual headline consumer price index (CPI) increased to 4.5% in March from 4.1% in February, according to Stats SA. The South African Reserve Bank is steadfast that it wants to see inflation expectations anchored at the 4.5% midpoint of its target range, which means last week’s announcement was on target. This could indicate inflation relief to come, depending on international factors.
The local market had another strong week, with the all-share index (ALSI) gaining 1.42% for the week. The major contributor was the financial sector with a gain of 3.34%, followed by the industrial sector with a gain of 2.28%. The resources sector lost 1.89% on the back of weaker international commodity prices. The rand lost some value and traded around R14.05 to the USD.
International markets traded stronger following news that China recorded a 6.4% economic growth rate in Q1, surpassing the expectations of many economists. Growth was supported by strong industrial production that surged by 8.5% and consumer spending that grew by 8.7%. Stronger Chinese markets and economic growth is good news for emerging markets, especially for commodity producers such as South Africa.
Despite uncertainties about Brexit, the UK unemployment rate fell to 3.9% for the three-month period ending January, the lowest level since 1975 and down from 4% in the previous month. The economy added 222 000 jobs to the workforce, and average weekly earnings grew by 3.4%.
Brent crude oil is trading at around $71.64 per barrel, the highest trading price over the past six months. Taking into account the weaker local currency, this could translate into fuel price increases in May.
In the three weeks before Election Day, investors will certainly be on edge. Needless to say, there will be some positive movement if results on 8 May are in line with the expectations. History shows that prudent investors look past the short-term volatility spikes that elections can bring and maintain a long-term focus.
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