Inflation in South Africa surged to its highest level in 13 years in June, driven primarily by rising prices for food, transport and housing, official data showed on Wednesday.
“Annual consumer price inflation was 7.4 percent in June 2022, up from 6.5 percent in May, and the highest rate since May 2009,” the statistics agency, StatsSA, said in a statement.
Inflation has soared to the highest level in decades in many countries, fuelled by the war in Ukraine and the easing of Covid restrictions.
That has forced central banks to raise interest rates, risking the prospect of recession as higher borrowing costs hurt businesses and consumers.
Monetary policymakers of Africa’s most industrialised power had sought to keep inflation within a range of three to six percent.
In May, South Africa’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point to 4.75 percent -– the steepest increase in years.
The bank had drastically slashed interest rates in 2020 to a low of 3.5 percent to help the economy weather the coronavirus pandemic.