South Africa Inflation March 2017

South Africa

South Africa: Inflation slows for a third consecutive month in March and reaches six-month low

April 19, 2017

In March, consumer prices in South Africa gained 0.6% from the previous month, which was down from the 1.1% increase in February. The monthly moderation stemmed from a slower increase in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages and of alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Inflation moderated for the third consecutive month in March, edging down to 6.1% from 6.3% in February. The result undershot the 6.3% the markets had expected and marked a six-month low. Despite the moderation, inflation remains slightly above the upper threshold of the Central Bank’s target range of 3.0%–6.0%. Inflation has been outside the target range for seven consecutive months. Annual average inflation remained unchanged at February’s 6.3% in March.

Core consumer prices—which exclude food, non-alcoholic beverages, energy and gasoline—rose 0.7% in March, down from 1.1% in February. Core inflation moderated from 5.2% in February to 4.9% in March, the lowest level in 16 months.

The Central Bank revised its inflation forecast for this year and expects it to average 5.9% in 2017 (previous estimate: 6.2%). For 2018, the Bank left its forecast relatively unchanged and sees it averaging 5.4% (previous estimate: 5.5%). FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to average 5.8% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2018, the panel sees average inflation of 5.6%.

Author:, Senior Economist

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South Africa Inflation Chart

South Africa Inflation March 2017

Note: Annual and monthly variation of consumer prices index in %.
Source: Statistics South Africa and FocusEconomics calculations.

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