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Economists expected fuel price hike, don’t expect a turnaround ‘anytime soon’

This is the second petrol price increase in the space of a month after an increase on 4 May.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economists say the latest fuel price increase was expected and motorists should not expect things to turn around any time soon.

The Energy Department today announced that the price of petrol will increase by 52 cents a litre from this Wednesday.

Motorists have to fork out 76 cents more for diesel.

Argon Asset Management economist Thabi Leoka says the rand needs to strengthen.

"Oil prices increased recently but are much lower than in previous years. We haven't really benefited from the falling oil prices because of the weak rand."

At the same time, economists.co.za's Mike Schussler says the prices are lower this year.

"There may be a secondary effect from that, from the transport side of things, but we have to be careful with over pessimism because the price is still lower than June last year."

The department says economic factors affecting the national retail price of illuminating paraffin and a weaker rand contributed to the fuel price hike.

This is the second petrol price increase in the space of a month, after an increase of 12 cents per litre on 4 May.

Diesel went down by between one and two cents per litre, while illuminating paraffin decreased by nine cents per litre.