The South African rand inched higher in early trade on Wednesday, with domestic inflation data and the 2024 budget due later in the day being the main focal points.

At 0550 GMT, the rand traded at 18.8825 against the dollar , around 0.2% stronger than its previous close.

Statistics South Africa will release the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) around 0800 GMT, with economists polled by Reuters predicting a modest increase in year-on-year inflation to 5.4% from 5.1% in December.

The central bank has said it wants to see a clearer disinflation trend before cutting interest rates.

From 1200 GMT, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will present this year's budget, laying out the government's spending priorities, revenue collection strategies and updated economic forecasts.

Economists predict the budget will show some slippage from last year's mid-term budget, with weaker mining tax receipts contributing to wider budget deficits.


(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)