S.Africa inflation spikes in February

20th March 2013, Comments 0 comments

South African consumer inflation jumped to 5.9 percent in February, all but ruling out an interest rate cut when the central bank meets Wednesday.

Statistics South Africa reported that inflation ticked a half-point higher, to come within striking distance of the reserve bank's six percent ceiling.

Although Africa's largest economy is struggling under weak growth and crippling underemployment, the high pace of inflation looks likely to tie the central bank's hands.

Even ahead of the inflation figures Adriaan du Toit of Standard Bank said there was "zero probability" of the bank cutting interest rates to boost the economy.

Inflation in February was pushed up by higher transport costs, health insurance and food basics like milk, eggs and cheese.

© 2013 AFP

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