Food Prices Spike Despite A Drop In Inflation

This is according to the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) food price monthly report released yesterday.

“From March 2015 to March 2016, the cost of a basic 22-item food basket increased by approximately R70 (13.88%) in nominal terms, from R509 to R579,” reads the document.

The food basket included 1kg packets of apples, bananas, beef chuck, cabbage, fresh chicken portions as well as eggs (1.5 dozen), canned fish (425g), long-life milk (1 litre), instant coffee (750g) and a loaf of brown bread (700g).

NAMC senior manager Simphiwe Ngqangweni said the research data showed that food prices wererising even though overall inflation has come down.

“This is due to the drought, which is the main factor that is impacting the economy,” said Ngqangweni.

He feels there should be better coordination between government and the private sector to ensure that all farmers enjoy the benefits of relief efforts.

“The private sector and government should put together their lists of farmers who need assistance and try their best to avoid the practice by some farmers of double dipping, which means they might try to benefit from both the government and private sector relief funds,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Barclays Bureau for Economic Research Purchasing Managers’ Index rose by 8.7 points in April to 56.4.

“The index has been below 50 since August 2015. The increase is an encouraging sign that the manufacturing sector may have reached a bottom and that output could improve during the second quarter – barring any unexpected disruptions such as a return of load-shedding, stricter water restrictions or labour unrest in the manufacturing or closely linked mining sector,” reads the report.

Source: Sowetan Live


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