South African consumer price inflation has been near 6 per cent, at the top end of the target range, for the past three years. In recent months, this pattern has been interrupted by the sharp fall in oil prices, which slowed inflation to a low of 3,9 per cent in February 2015. However, prices are now accelerating again, and are expected to breach the target temporarily during the first half of 2016. Average inflation is forecast at 6,1 per cent for 2016, easing slightly to 5,7 per cent in 2017.Petrol price inflation is forecast to spike early in 2016, reflecting the annual comparison with the low prices from the start of 2015. Food prices are also picking up in response to drought conditions in the maize triangle in South Africa. Meanwhile, underlying inflationary pressures are proving persistent, and risks to the forecast have increased. This raises the odds of a sustained breach of the inflation target and narrows the scope to look through price shocks, even if demand pressures in the economy remain weak. For these reasons, monetary policy in South Africa remains in a tightening cycle.