Statistics South Africa - ●北京赛车助赢 // The South Africa I Know, The Home I Understand Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:08:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 // Despite the VAT increase, food inflation continues to fall - ●北京赛车助赢 // // Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:08:25 +0000 // read more »
Annual food inflation continues to slow despite April’s rise in value added tax (VAT). In fact, some food items are actually cheaper than they were a year ago.

The items you are now paying less for are in the oil, bread, fruit and sugar categories, according to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) release.1 Bread and cereal prices were 3,1% cheaper in June 2018 than they were in June 2017. Fruit prices fell by 3,2% over the same period.


If we dig a little deeper into the bread and cereals data, we see the average price for a loaf of brown bread was R12,24 in June 2017, falling to R11,53 in June 2018.

Fish, meat, vegetables and dairy products have all become more expensive, however. A kilogram of hake, for example, would have set you back an average price of R41,09 in June 2017. By June 2018, the price had climbed to R47,37.

If we consider all food items in the inflation basket, overall food inflation has slowed. Food was actually 0,1% cheaper in June 2018 than it was in April 2018 when VAT was raised. Note, however, that not all food items carry VAT.

A closer look at the data suggests that much larger forces than VAT are at play: tough economic conditions and the recovery from drought.

A sluggish economy has constrained consumer spending. Household expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages grew by 0,7% in 2017, a bit higher than the 0,3% recorded in 2016, but lower than the 2,6% growth rate recorded in 2015.2

South Africa is also emerging from one of the worst droughts in recent history. The years 2015 and 2016 were particularly bad, with 2015 the driest year on record since 1904 when rainfall measurements began.3 Commercial maize production in particular fell by 45% in 2015/16 compared with 2013/14, according to data from the South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS).4

The slowdown in agriculture production contributed to the rise in food inflation in 2016, which reached a peak of 12% in December of that year. This means that, on average, food was 12% more expensive in December 2016 than it was in December 2015.


Agriculture began to find its feet again in 2017, contributing to a slowdown in food inflation. The grain industry bounced back relatively quickly, recording its most successful commercial maize season ever in 2016/17.4


The bread and cereal inflation rate fell in line with the recovery, diving into negative territory in August 2017. When the inflation rate falls below 0%, it is referred to as deflation. This signifies that the price of a good or service is no longer rising but is in fact falling over time.

Meat prices, on the other hand, behaved quite differently. As bread and cereal prices were rising at around 15% year-on-year in 2016, meat inflation was somewhat subdued, hovering around the 5% mark. Meat inflation started to rise near the end of 2016, overtaking bread and cereals in March 2017.

The reason for this pattern? It takes a lot longer for meat production to recover. During a severe drought, cattle farmers are unable to feed their stock, and they are eventually forced to cull their herds. For a brief period of time, the increased supply of meat causes prices to stabilise or even fall.

It takes time to rebuild herds once the rains return, causing a lack of meat once the initial surge in supply ebbs away. Meat inflation then starts to climb as a result.

In short, volatile weather causes volatile agricultural production and prices, which makes life difficult for farmers and consumers alike, not to mention economic policy makers as well as the manufacturers and retailers who get our food from farm to table. Whether the weather becomes more or less erratic going forward, only time will tell.


1 Download the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) release here.

2 Gross domestic product (GDP), Q1: 2018, GDP P0441- 2018Q1 Excel file, Tab 13 (download the file here).

3 South African Weather Service, South Africa – Annual Total Rainfall, 13 January 2016 (read here).

4 South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS) data are available here.

Rainfall data was kindly provided by the South African Weather Service.

Similar articles are available on the Stats SA website and can be accessed here.

For a monthly overview of economic indicators and infographics, catch the latest edition of the Stats Biz newsletter here.



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Quarterly Labour Force Survey – QLFS Q2:2018 - ●北京赛车助赢 // // Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:33:54 +0000 // read more »
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Quarterly Labour Force Survey – QLFS Q2:2018


The official unemployment rate increased by 0,5 of a percentage point to 27,2% compared to the first quarter of 2018. ?The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2018 released by Statistics South Africa today, indicate that the increase in the unemployment rate is a result of a decline of 90?000 in the number of people in employment and an increase of 102 000 in the number of people who became unemployed between the first and second quarters of 2018. This was coupled with an increase in the number of discouraged work-seekers to 2,9 million during this period. The South African working-age population increased by 154?000 or 0,4 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2018.

Employment gains of 22?000 were recorded in private households, while the formal sector (35?000), informal sector (73?000), Agriculture (3?000) recorded employment losses between first and second quarters of 2018. The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 77?000 while the number of other not economically active persons increased by 65?000, resulting in an increase of 141?000 (up by 0,9 percent) in the number of people not in the labour force between the first and second quarters of 2018.

The industry that recorded the most job losses was Manufacturing which accounted for 105?000 jobs, followed by Community, social and personal services (93?000) and Trade (57?000). Employment increases were recorded in Transport (54?000), Construction (45?000), Mining (38?000), Private households (22?000) and Utilities (18?000) industries.

At national level, the official unemployment rate increased by 0,5 percentage point to 27,2% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter. This was also the case for five provinces while the rate decreased in the other four. The largest increase in the unemployment rate was recorded in Free State (up by 1,6 percentage points), followed by Gauteng (up by 1,1 percentage points), and Western Cape (up by 1,0 percentage point)? . A decline in official unemployment rates were recorded in Eastern Cape (down by 1,4 percentage points), Northern Cape (down by 0,6 of a percentage point), Limpopo (down by 0,6 of a percentage point) and? KwaZulu-Natal (down by 0,5 of a percentage point). The expanded unemployment rate increased by 0,5 of a percentage point in Q2:?2018 to 37,2% quarter-to-quarter, with Eastern Cape having the highest unemployment rate at 45,8%. KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North West had a difference of more than 17 percentage points between the official and expanded unemployment rates.

There were approximately 10,3 million persons aged 15–24 years in the second quarter of 2018. Between Q2: 2017 and Q2: 2018, the percentage of young persons aged 15–24 years who were not in employment, education or training (NEET) declined by 0,6 of a percentage point to 31,6% (3,3 million). The NEET rate for males declined in three population groups, with the exception of white males. Among females the NEET rate increased for Indian/Asian and white population groups. Of the 20,2 million young people aged 15-34 years, 39,3% were not in employment, education or training (NEET) – an increase by 0,4 of a percentage point compared to the second quarter of 2017. The NEET rate increased for black African males and white males, while that of coloured and Indian/Asian males decreased. Female NEET rate was higher than that of their male counterparts for all population groups. In Q2: 2017 and Q2: 2018 the highest NEET rate of over 40% was recorded among black African females aged 15–34 years.


Issued by Statistics South Africa


For technical enquiries, contact:

Ms Gwen Lehloenya

Acting Deputy Director-General: Population and Social Statistics

Tel: 012 310 9324



Ms Malerato Mosiane

Acting Chief Director: Labour Statistics

Tel:? 012 310 8688


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Tel: 012 310 8578

Cell: 082 805 7088


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BRICS: Where does South Africa rank? - ●北京赛车助赢 // // Thu, 26 Jul 2018 13:58:39 +0000