Picture: REUTERS/PAULO WHITAKER
Picture: REUTERS/PAULO WHITAKER

Producer inflation continued to slow in August, reaching 4.5% year on year, down from July’s 4.9%, Statistics SA said on Thursday.

This continues a five month easing streak, coming in slightly below a Bloomberg survey of economists that had expected it to reach 4.6%.

Producer inflation — as measured by the producer price index — records the change in prices of goods and services sold by manufacturers and producers.

Month on month, producer price inflation grew 0.3%, according to the agency.

The main contributors to the annual inflation rate were food products, beverages and tobacco products, which grew 4.6% year on year; the metals, machinery, equipment and computing equipment segment, which grew an annual 5.4%; coke, petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products, which rose 3.3%; and paper and printed products, which increased 7.8%. 

Economists had expected the slowdown in producer inflation to continue, in part thanks to statistical base effects relating to the petrol price, which rose sharply in 2018.

The slowdown comes a week after consumer price inflation rose 4.3% year on year in August, a slight uptick on the previous month.

donnellyl@businesslive.co.za