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S. Africa March Inflation Climbs

FILE: Shoppers are seen with new televisions in their cart at a store in Canal Walk Mall in Cape Town, South Africa, November 25, 2022.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's headline consumer inflation rose for the second month in a row in March, to 7.1% year on year from 7.0% in February, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer inflation rose to 1.0% in March from 0.7%.

Core inflation, which excludes prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy, was at 5.2% year on year in March, the same as in February.

Month-on-month core inflation was at 0.8%, also unchanged.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a drop to 6.9%.

Inflation has remained stubbornly high in Africa's most industrialized economy since peaking in July 2022 at 7.8%, leading to a run of interest rate hikes from the central bank.

At its last meeting in March, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) surprised analysts with a larger-than-anticipated 50 basis point hike.

The SARB targets inflation between 3% and 6%.