A woman uses a trolley as she shops at a Pick n Pay store at Maponya mall in Soweto, South Africa, October 20, 2022. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 18 (Reuters) – South Africa’s headline consumer inflation slowed to 7.2% year on year in December from 7.4% in November, in line with analysts’ forecasts, statistics agency data showed on Wednesday.

Price pressures have been gradually easing in Africa’s most industrialised economy, after inflation struck a 13-year high of 7.8% year on year in July.

The South African Reserve Bank has raised interest rates to fight inflation at its last seven monetary policy meetings since its latest tightening cycle began in November 2021.

The central bank, whose next rate-setting decision is due on Jan. 26, targets inflation of between 3% and 6%.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer inflation was at 0.4% in December compared to 0.3% in November. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected it to stay at 0.3%.

Core inflation, which excludes prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy, was at 4.9% year on year in December, from 5.0% the previous month.

On a month-on-month basis core inflation was at 0.2% in December, compared to 0.1% in November.


(Reporting by Alexander Winning; editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo)