Statistics South Africa released telling sets of data today, 22 September 2009, these data deal with unemployment and inflation. Both have a major effect on the economy. Unemployment is up and inflation is down slightly. With unemployment rising more people will be scared for their jobs but inflation is not as bad as it was a year ago, so things are getting pricier less quickly than before, but pay increases are not keeping up. So what are the figures?
- 198 000 lost their jobs since June 2008
- Pay has increased slower than inflation at 6.4%
- Inflation is now at 6.4%
Inflation is a measure of how quickly prices rise, and these can be directly related to pay increases. With inflation now at 6.4%, the lowest it has been in a long while, but pay only increasing at 6.4% from May 2008 until May 2009 we can see that on the whole, life is getting tougher in South Africa. The inflation rate now may correspond to the pay increase but we are coming out of a high inflation environment and inflation over the year is way more than pay has increased. The Reserve Bank has been targeting inflation over the last year via the mechanism of exchange rates. The MPC who sets the exchange rate is concluding its meeting today and will release the new data at 3pm on webcast.
So if life is getting harder and more people are losing their jobs than getting new ones then there are a few things that you should consider to protect yourself from the economic recession. You should use a budget planner so you know exactly where you can cut back on your spending and save. If you are already feeling the pinch or have a lot of debt and are beginning to find it unmanageable you should contact a debt specialist sooner rather than later. Don't wait for the economy to run you over, your personal finances are in your hands.