Mirror mirror on the wall, which province in South Africa has the worst inflation of them all? We take a look at the compound inflation rate from January 2008 in order to determine which province has the highest overall inflation over the period in question.
While the trends are very similar across the country in terms of overall inflation. There are clear differences between the different inflation levels experienced by the various provinces in South Africa.
Index Levels of inflation for the various provinces since January 2008
The line bar chart above shows the average index levels of inflation for the various provinces (with January 2008=100). Thus an index level of 160 implies that prices increased by 60% since January 2008 . Essentially the same basked of goods and services purchased for R100 in January 2008 will now set consumers back R160.
What is clear that even though there are very similar trends in the overall movement of inflation for the various provinces they do tend to behave differently over time from one another. Case and point being Northern Cape showing high levels of inflation during 2012 to 2015 and then during 2016 it's levels are lowest out of all the provinces, implying the growth in it's inflation has been a lot slower relative to the other provinces.
Currently the data shows that since January 2008, up to April 2016, the Eastern Cape has the highest compound level of inflation (based on average index level for 2016) , with its average index level for 2016 being 162.6, showing prices increasing by 62.6% since January 2008=100 , followed by the Free State with it's average index level for 2016 being 161.8 is showing overall price increases of 61.8% and the lowest level of inflation over the period being found in Northern Cape, with it's average index level for 2016 being 158.5, with prices having increased by 58.5% from January 2008=100.
While Limpopo showed relatively low levels of inflation 2009 to 2013, it has in recent years seen an acceleration of it's inflation rate and as at April 2016 it has shown the third highest level of overall inflation since January 2008, with prices having increased 60.9% since January 2008 =100 to the average index level of 2016