PIcture: ISTOCK
PIcture: ISTOCK

Rising fuel costs pushed producer inflation upwards in February, snapping a two-month streak of moderating pressure on prices.

Farm and factory gate inflation, as measured by the annual change in the producer price index (PPI) climbed to 4.7% in February from January’s 4.1%.

The consensus among economists, according to a poll by Trading Economics, was that producer inflation would rise to 4.6% year on year.

Coke, petroleum and chemicals rose 6.3% year on year, contributing 1.3 percentage points to the headline figure, while the food segment of the index rose by an annualised 3.4%.

Paper and printing products rose 7.7%.

Stats SA’s PPI report on Thursday came a week after it reported that inflation, as measured by the annual change in the consumer price index (CPI), ticked up slightly to 4.1% year on year in February. This was in line with expectations.

January’s inflation reading was tempered by a R1.22/l drop in petrol and R1.54/l drop in diesel prices on the continued moderation in international oil prices and a stronger rand.

However, February saw a slight increase, with motorists paying 7c/l  more for 93 and 95 grades of petrol, and between 1c/l and 2c/l more for diesel.

Correction: 28 October

An earlier version of this article said the segment for Coke, petroleum and chemicals rose 7.7% year on year, when in fact, it rose 6.3%. Business Day regrets the error.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za