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Oil, food prices main risk to S.Africa's inflation: c.bank

Hike in global food and oil prices remain Africa's biggest threat: leading bank said

Reuters, Friday 1 Jul 2011
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The biggest risk to South Africa's inflation outlook in the near future remains global food and oil prices, the Reserve Bank said on Friday.

In its 2011 Annual Economic Report, the bank noted that the upward trend in international oil prices had been reinforced by the political strife in the Middle East and North Africa, raising concerns about the security of oil supplies from countries in these regions.

"Underlying demand pressure are likely to keep oil prices at relatively elevated levels," it said.

The bank said it was concerning that the upturn in South Africa's export volumes since 2009's downturn had been slow when compared with other emerging market economies.

"It is even more alarming that the pace of recovery since the recession was also weaker than that seen in advanced economies," the bank added.

But while it was of some concern that South Africa's exports had not recovered fully a strengthening in the country's terms of trade had helped moderate the current account deficit.

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