Year-on-year, cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 8.8 percent, the highest annual rate in 27 months. Cost of vegetables recorded the biggest increase (13.3 percent), followed by bread and cereals (10.1 percent) and milk, eggs and cheese (9.9 percent).
Additional upward pressures came mostly from transport cost (up 8.9 percent in May from 6.8 percent in April), driven by a 14.3 percent rise in petrol prices. Cost of clothing and footwear quickened to 5.4 percent in May from 5 percent in April. Meanwhile, cost of housing and utilities increased 5.7 percent, the same rate recorded in April.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.2 percent between April and May, slowing from a 0.5 percent increase in the previous period. Transport prices fell 0.1 percent, mainly due to a 15c/litre decrease in the price of petrol.
Among regions, Limpopo (7.8 percent), KwaZulu-Natal (7.1 percent) and Eastern Cape (7.0 percent) recorded inflation rates higher than 6.6 percent. In contrast, Western Cape (6.6 percent), Free State (6.6 percent), Gauteng (6.6 percent), Mpumalanga (6.5 percent), Northern Cape (6.4 percent) and North West (6.4 percent) showed inflation rates lower or equal than the headline.