SA consumers feeling the pressure of rising food prices, fuel costs

Consumers say they are feeling the pressure of rising food and fuel costs which have pushed up inflation to its highest levels in five years.

Their comments come as data by Statistics South Africa indicates that the consumer price inflation (CPI), increased to 6.5 percent last month, from 5.9 percent in April.

The main driver of inflation in South Africa has come from food and fuel.

However inflation has been on the increase globally, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Central banks around the world have been trying to keep inflation down by raising interest rates.

These motorists and consumers in Johannesburg say they will have to cut down on a lot, just to get by.

“The trolley that you used to pack for R1000 now needs more than that R1000 because the price of food has gone up. Salaries won’t change and the price is up, we just have to take money from other things that you could do.”

“We all going to feel the impact so we just need to tighten our belts, less eating out, less fun times, and that’s how we go. For food yes I can relate with that one because the food is expensive now, especially the cooking oil, it’s now expensive.”

Rising inflation and cost of living in SA: Khandani Msibi:

The impact of fuel prices

Transport and food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for just over half of the annual rate, with sharp price increases recorded in both categories.

Fuel, in particular, continues to be a major contributor, if the impact of fuel is removed from the CPI reading in May, the headline rate falls to 5.1% from 6.5%.

Diesel prices jumped by 8.1% between April and May, taking the annual rate to over 45%.

The average price of a litre of diesel in May 2021 was R16.20, meaning it cost R729 to fill a 45-litre tank.

Twelve months later, with the average price at R23.67 per litre, filling the same tank cost R1 065.

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