ALMOST three-quarters of South African professionals do not trust historic inflation figures, and four out of five reckon the rate will increase this year.

That is according to the results of a survey conducted by the head of the Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences‚ Prof Jannie Rossouw‚ released just minutes ahead of Statistics SA’s consumer price index (CPI) announcement on Wednesday morning.

Prof Rossouw said his "research data show historic inflation figures lack credibility".

"People simply do not trust the historic figures as they perceive prices to generally increase more rapidly than the price increases reported by the official inflation rate", he said of the results of the survey, which questioned 4,100 respondents.

"At the same time‚ inflation is expected to accelerate next year."

The respondents were asked two questions. To the first — whether they believed "that historic inflation in SA was accurately recorded" — 72% of respondents said they thought "prices increased more rapidly or much more rapidly than the rate of inflation".

To the second — in which "respondents had to state their expectation of future inflation" — 80% of "respondents expect an acceleration in inflation during 2016".

"The implications are clear: professional South Africans expect higher inflation next year and higher inflation will push up interest rates‚" Prof Rossouw said.

TMG Digital