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MBABANE – Surges in energy prices have pushed up headline inflation to about four per cent.

The headline inflation rate was recorded at 3.9 per cent last month.  This is the annual percentage change in the consumer price index (CPI) in April 2020 compared with that of the same period in the past year.

This annual rate is 0.9 index points higher than the corresponding annual rate of 3.0 per cent observed in March 2020.
This is as per information released by the Central Statistical Office on Wednesday.
The month on month inflation rate, which is the percentage change in the CPI in April 2020 compared with that of the previous month is 1.1 per cent.

The higher headline inflation was due to increasing annual rates of change reflected in April in the price indices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels which increased from 0.8 in March 2020 to 5.2 per cent last month.
Actual rentals for housing contributed to the higher index in this category.

Experts say headline inflation may not present an accurate picture of an economy’s inflationary trend since sector-specific inflationary spikes are unlikely to persist.


Core inflation is often considered the more valuable metric to follow. Both headline and core results are followed closely by investors, and are also used by economists and central banking figures to set economic growth forecasts and monetary policy.
“The increasing rates were slightly counteracted by decreasing rates of growth in the price indices for transport which decreased from 6.1 per cent in March 2020 to 3.7 in April this year.

“Operation of personal transport equipment, such as fuels and lubricants; as well as spare parts and accessories mainly contributed to the decreased index in the category,” read the report in part.


 Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics which decreased from 4.4 in March 2020 to 2.4 per cent in April also contributed to the downward trend. Tobacco and alcoholic beverages (such as wine) mainly contributed to the lower index. 
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, this publication reported that core inflation was recorded at 3.1 per cent in March.

This is consumer price index (CPI) excluding volatile items such as food, fuel and energy. It was at 2.9 per cent in February 2020, broadly in line with increases in the prices of both goods and services.

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