Consumer inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), slowed to its lowest level in three months in September, data from Stats SA showed on Wednesday.

CPI slowed to 3% from 3.1% in August in line with economists’ expectations in a Bloomberg poll, while it had increased 0.2% month on month.

The main contributors were food and nonalcoholic beverages, housing and utilities, and miscellaneous goods and services.

Food and nonalcoholic beverages rose 3.9% year on year and housing and utilities 2.8%. Miscellaneous goods and services rose 6.5%.

CPI has remained within the SA Reserve Bank’s 3%-6% target band since July.

The Bank’s monetary policy committee said in September that it expected headline consumer price inflation to average 3.3% in 2020, 4% in 2021 and  4.4% in 2022.

BNP Paribas economist Jeff Schultz said: “We stick to our forecast for CPI to average just 3.5% next year,” adding that he expects the Bank to be unlikely to unwind any of the 300 basis points in monetary accommodation it has delivered so far this year.

PPS Investments portfolio manager Reza Hendrickse said: “Although the repo rate is now at its lowest level in over 50 years, there is still a chance we might see another rate cut when the committee meets next month, given the benign inflation backdrop and weak domestic growth prospects.”