Technology cheaper than at the start of the year
StatsSA has found that technology is cheaper than it was at the start of the year.
The institute compared the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for this year from August with January.
They found the price of telecommunication equipment dropped by 8.6% and postal- and telecommunication services dropped by 0.5%. The CPI takes the price of a basket of certain goods and services to see how their prices change over time.
Economist Mike Schüssler said South Africans tend throw the baby out with the bathwater‚ because we are stressed about employment and unhappy with poor political leadership.
“We should not think it is not affecting our thoughts‚” Schüssler said. “People have that mental block … So when something good happens‚ sometimes we just don’t seem to recognise it.”
Schüssler attributed the drop in technology and communications prices to international trends of increased production and rapid development. He also said retailers who sell luxury goods such as technology and household electronics are struggling and dropping their prices to increase sales.
“Maybe not your iPads‚ but for your (television) boxset or your laptop the prices have come down‚” Schüssler said. “There are a lot of specials on at the moment.”
Economist Dawie Roodt said the rapid development of technology also attributed to dropping prices. He said however there have not been large decreases in the prices of data and airtime‚ because companies need a licence before they can sell these goods. “It is not a proper competitive market‚” Roodt said.
Additionally some prices are set by a regulator‚ similar to the fuel price. “It is someone who took a decision. It has nothing to do with underlying supply and demand.”
Schüssler said South Africa also had a bit of “good luck” in the drop of fuel and food prices. “Our stock market is up and our house prices did not implode like in the United States in the long term. There are a few things that have improved.”
Roodt believes there is too much emphasis on the price of goods and too little focus on the value of the rand. “The rand is continuously losing its value and [therefore] we have to use more rands to buy the same things.”