It is hot in South Africa. The hottest it has been in decades. The impact of El Niño is an uncontrollable factor that the country is dealing with and comes as a blow to the consumer inflation outlook.

The heat is disrupting agriculture, after weak production in 2023. Food prices have been a major contributor to the stubborn CPI (consumer price index) inflation rate. In the February report, food prices contributed a notable 1.1% of overall inflation. With the prevailing weather conditions, it suggests that food prices will remain on the rise for much of the year. CPI inflation reached 5.6% in February 2024, the fifth consecutive reading above 5.0%, showing amber on the ceiling of the Reserve Bank’s target range...

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