South Africa's CPI reaches five-year high

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JOHANNESBURG, June 22 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's annual consumer price inflation (CPI) rose to 6.5 percent in May, the highest since January 2017, according to data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Wednesday.

This breaks through the upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank's monetary policy target range between 3 to 6 percent, it said.

The CPI was 5.9 percent in April and the May's rate is slightly lower.

Nearly half of the annual increase in the rate was accounted for by transportation and food and beverages, both of which experienced sharp price increases, and fuel continues to be a major contributor to the CPI in May, the national statistics agency said.

Between April and May, diesel prices rose by 8.1 percent taking the annual increase to over 45 percent, it said, adding that food prices increased by 2.1 percent between April and May, the largest monthly increase since February 2016.

Oils and fats continue to experience prolonged high inflation in May, with the price of sunflower oil, the product with the highest weight in the oils and fats group, almost 40 percent more expensive than it was a year ago, according to it.

Economists have warned that consumers should brace themselves for additional increases following the reserve bank's 50 basis point hike of the repo rate last month. Enditem

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