Inflation up to 4.5%

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Another fuel price hike in March led to inflation hitting the midpoint of the Reserve Bank’s 3% to 6% target range.Inflation, as measured by the annual change in the consumer price index (CPI), rose to 4.5% in March from February’s 4.1%.This was slightly below a poll by Trading Economics, which expected inflation to rise to 4.6%.The rise in inflation was based on a 6.4% increase in alcoholic beverages and tobacco; a 4.5% increase in housing and utilities; and a 6.4% increase in transport.After a reprieve at the end of 2018 and in January, fuel prices rose in February and March.The fuel component increased by 8.8% compared with a year before and by 5.1% compared with February.Though overall food inflation was 2.3% in January, Stats SA said vegetable prices showed an alarming annual inflation rate of 9.4% and fruit 7.6%.

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