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South Africa Inflation Lowest Since 2005

South Africa's consumer price inflation eased to the lowest in nearly five years in April, figures from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

The consumer price index rose 3.0 percent year-on-year in April, after a 4.1 percent increase in March. Economists had expected a 3.1 percent rise.

The latest inflation was the lowest in June 2005, when it was 2.8 percent.

In April, the lockdown regulations in effect dramatically restricted the goods and services available for purchase by consumers, the agency said.

The CPI data collectors also couldn't to visit stores. As a result, the April CPI is based on a significantly limited sample, the statistical office said.

The main contribution came from food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, transport, and miscellaneous goods and services.

Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 4.4 percent annually in April and housing and utilities rose by 4.6 percent. Prices for transport, and miscellaneous goods and services grew by 3.5 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.

On a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index decreased 0.5 percent in April. Economists had expected a 0.4 percent fall.

The core inflation, which excludes prices of non-alcoholic beverages, fuels and energy, was 3.2 percent in April. Economists had forecast a 3.6 percent rise.

On a monthly basis, the core CPI fell 0.2 percent in April.

Separate data from the statistical office showed that the retail sales rose 2.7 percent yearly in March, following a 1.9 percent increase in February.

On a monthly basis, retail sales grew 2.3 percent in March, after a 0.3 percent fall in the prior month.

In the three months ended in March, retail sales increased 0.2 percent, after a 0.9 percent fall in the preceding three months.

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