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South Africa Consumer Prices Soar

FILE: Shoppers leave a Woolworths store at a shopping center in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, Aug. 28, 2013.

South Africa's consumer prices rose to a five-year high in May, exceeding the central bank's stated target, official data showed Wednesday.

South Africa's government statistics agency said Wednesday that annual inflation accelerated to 6.5 percent last month after hitting 5.9 percent in April, marking the highest reading since January 2017.

Excluding energy and food, core inflation also rose to 4.1 percent in May from a year earlier, up from 3.9 percent in April.

The central bank of Africa's most industrialized power had sought to keep inflation within a range of three to six percent.

In response to soaring prices, the financial institution has raised its benchmark interest rate several times in recent months.