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Data to be released this week is expected to show that upward pressure on food prices, among other factors, caused consumer inflation to accelerate in March.  Inflation has trended downwards in 2019, surprising economists. But the consumer price index (CPI), which will be published on Wednesday, is expected to have risen closer to the midpoint of the Reserve Bank’s 3%-6% target range.  FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya forecast 4.6% for March, adding that “much of the upward pressure is expected to come from food prices off a low March 2018 base, particularly breads and cereals, vegetables, as well as sugar, sweets and desserts”.  The 74c/l hike in petrol prices in March is also expected to have added to inflation. Surveys on actual rentals, owners’ equivalent rent, domestic-worker wages, motor-vehicle insurance, local transport fares and education fees are also expected to weigh on the inflation basket.

Elize Kruger, senior economist at NKC African Economic...

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