Consumers may have stepped into 2024 hopeful for a financial reprieve as food inflation eased towards the end of 2023. Regretfully, the reality is that the consumer has had to contend with petrol price hikes and its knock-on effect on factors that contribute to the rising cost of living.

There may have been a sigh of relief with consumer price inflation (CPI) declining in March to 5.3% from 5.6% in February. It puts Q1 2024’s inflation average at 5.4%. However, I would caution that it is still too high for us to start predicting a turn in the interest rate outlook — something that most households are so eagerly anticipating in Q2...

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