Bloomberg News

South Africa Producer Prices Climb on Commodities, Weaker Rand

September 29, 2011

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- South African producer-price inflation accelerated in August as increases in the cost of basic goods and a weaker currency that made imports more expensive.

The cost of goods leaving factories and mines rose 9.6 percent from the year earlier after advancing 8.9 percent in July, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said on its website today. The median estimate of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 9.1 percent. Prices increased 1 percent in the month.

“There has been some pressure from commodity prices,” said Kevin Lings, an economist at Stanlib Asset Management in Johannesburg, said in a telephone interview before the data was released. “It doesn’t mean that this will feed into consumer inflation.”

Import costs rose after the rand declined the most in eight months in August as the European debt crisis and indications global economic growth is slowing led to a drop in risk appetite. The currency weakened 4.1 percent last month, the most since January, raising import costs.

Gasoline prices increased 1.7 percent on Aug. 3 and the price of white corn, a staple in South Africa, surged 18 percent last month on the South African Futures Exchange. South Africa is the largest producer of platinum and chrome in the world.

--With assistance from Simbarashe Gumbo in Johannesburg. Editors: Gordon Bell, Karl Maier

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in Johannesburg at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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