Year-on-year, food prices slowed to 3.5 percent from 3.8 percent in November. The following components decreased: vegetables (-2 percent), fish (-0.6 percent), sugar, sweets and deserts (-0.6 percent), other food (-0.4 percent), cold beverages (-0.3 percent) and oils and fats (-0.1 percent). In contrast, food prices rose 3.5 percent, milk, eggs and cheese (0.4 percent), meat (0.3 percent), bread and cereals (0.2 percent) and hot beverages (0.1 percent).
The index for housing and utilities rose to 5.5 percent from 5.3 percent in November. Transport prices accelerated to 6.3 percent (5.8 percent in the previous month); restaurant and hotels edged up to 7.2 percent (from 7.0 percent in October. Cost of miscellaneous goods and services decelerated to 7 percent (7.3 percent in the previous month).
The provinces with an annual inflation rate lower than or equal to headline inflation were Free State (5.3 percent), Limpopo (5.3 percent), KwaZulu-Natal (5.2 percent), Western Cape (5.0 percent), Eastern Cape (5.0 percent), Northern Cape (4.9 percent), Mpumalanga (4.9 percent) and North West (4.7 percent). The province with an annual inflation rate higher than headline inflation was Gauteng (5.6 percent).
Core inflation, which excludes prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, was unchanged at 5.3 percent year-on-year, but edged up to 0.3 percent on a month-over-month basis.