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/ 28 May 2008

CPIX figures ‘seal the case for rate hike’

South Africa’s targeted CPIX (consumer inflation less mortgage costs) rate quickened unexpectedly to a near five-and-a-half year high of 10,4% year-on-year in April from 10,1% in March, official data showed on Wednesday. Mike Schussler, economist at T-Sec, said: ”That seals the case for interest-rate hikes. Inflation continues to shock.”

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/ 27 May 2008

GDP slows due to contraction in mining

South Africa’s economic growth rate slowed to 2,1% in the first quarter of 2008 on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis, official data showed on Tuesday, citing a sharp drop in mining due to a power crisis. Statistics South Africa said Q1 GDP slowed from 5,3% in the fourth quarter of 2007.

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/ 30 April 2008

Economists warn of tough times ahead

The increase in the retail price of petrol by 55 cents per litre will result in a ”period of anguish” for South African households, an economist said on Wednesday. Absa economist Chris Hart said the increase would cause food prices to rise and fuel inflation. Hart said the country was expecting a hike in electricity prices as well as an increase in the rate of taxes.

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/ 24 April 2008

Power failure hits electricity briefing

A power cut disrupted proceedings at a briefing in Pretoria on Thursday involving possible class action against Eskom. Lights went off at the briefing hosted by trade union Solidarity shortly before 12.30pm. The briefing discussed the possibility of class action against Eskom over possible job losses as a result of the power crisis.

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/ 23 April 2008

SA March inflation soars to new five-year high

South Africa’s targeted CPIX (consumer inflation less mortgage costs) rate jumped to a new five-year high of 10,1% in March, beating forecasts and hardening expectations for another interest-rate increase. Statistics South Africa said the targeted measure jumped from 9,4% in February to its highest level since December 2002.

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/ 31 March 2008

New barometer measures W Cape economy

The Western Cape’s economy remains extremely healthy, although some factors are hampering accelerated growth. This is one of the key findings of the new Sake24 Western Cape Barometer (WCB) launched in Cape Town on Monday. The WCB is a unique statistical index that measures business activity in the province.

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/ 27 March 2008

February PPI ‘a shock to the system’

South Africa’s producer price inflation (PPI) accelerated above forecasts to 11,2% year-on-year in February from 10,4% in January, official data showed on Thursday.
Statistics South Africa said the headline number, representing domestic output, stood at 1,3% on a monthly basis, compared with 1% previously. Economists polled last week forecast that annual PPI would come in at 10,7%, while the monthly rate of increase was seen at 0,8%.

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/ 26 March 2008

Inflation jumps to 9,4% in February

The increase in South Africa’s consumer price index excluding mortgage rate changes (CPIX) for metro and other areas, which is used by the South African Reserve Bank for its inflation target, was 9,4% year-on-year in February from 8,8% in January. The key drivers were higher food and petrol prices.