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Economist: There’s going to be a lot of pressure on consumers this year

The price of petrol could increase by 41c per litre if the rand and oil prices remain at current levels.

Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Economist Ian Cruickshanks says an expected increase in the fuel price next month of between 70 cents and 80 cents per litre will ripple through to all sectors of the economy.

He says the price of petrol could increase by 41 cents per litre if the rand and oil prices remain at current levels.

In addition, a 30 cents per litre hike in the fuel levy will also come into effect in April.

"There is a fuel price and an element in the cost of everything; there is transport in the cost of everything, any goods or services provided there is transport cost. This will ripple through all sectors of the economy."

Meanwhile, South Africa's headline inflation quickened more than expected in February to its highest level in nearly seven years.

Cruickshanks says this places pressure on the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates further.

"Seven percent is the highest in years and surely the Reserve Bank can't stand by and watch that for too long without having to raise interest rates yet again. There is going to be a lot of pressure on consumers this year."