The positive decline in the fuel price in the first quarter of 2018 may be wiped out as petrol and diesel prices hike this week. Fuel prices rose sharply in April. The steep hike forecast for May follows further rand weakness against the dollar and higher international oil prices. The Central Energy Fund expected an under-recovery at 47c a litre. "[This is] pointing to a 47c rise in the petrol price in May 2018," Momentum economist Sanisha Packirisamy says. Elize Kruger, NKC African Economics senior economist, forecasts hikes of 50c/litre in the petrol price and 60c/l in diesel. She says as "the positive impact of the fuel prices declines … will be completely wiped out", the two hikes and the value-added tax (VAT) increase may stoke inflation. The fuel increase is effective on Wednesday. The week, however, starts with the Reserve Bank release of private-sector credit extension data for March, which is forecast to drift higher in coming months, Packirisamy says. Consumers’ appetite f...

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