Fuel prices predicted to fall in June, while unemployment rate rises



Arena Holdings PTY


Business | What A Week

DESPITE recent rand weakness, the fuel outlook for June remains positive, with significant price reductions expected for all fuels, said the AA. Commenting on unaudited mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund, it said lower international product prices were the reason behind the predicted decreases. SOUTH Africa is ahead of its target for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. Output of the gases from the world’s 14th-biggest emitter is already falling even though its nationally determined contribution forecast a decline only from 2025. Regular breakdowns of the coalfired power plants that supply more than 80% of its electricity mean less carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere and daily loadshedding is further limiting emissions from factories. INVESTEC increased its dividend as it reported a jump in annual profit despite weaker global markets weighing on its funds under management. The company declared a full-year dividend of 31p a share, 24% higher year on year, at a payout ratio of 45%. Profit was up 46.9%. TELKOM flagged it could swing into annual loss, weighed down by hefty writedown charges that sent its share price tumbling. It said in a trading update that headline earnings per share could drop by 85%, at best, or swing into a loss. It blamed writedown charges worth R13bn, more or less the size of its market capitalisation, in a reflection of changes in the competitive landscape and an economy hobbled by load-shedding. THE unemployment rate rose for the first time in more than a year as more people started to look for work. The official jobless rate jumped to 32.9% in the three months through March from 32.7% the prior quarter, said Stats SA. RETAIL sales fell for a fourth straight month in March, further signifying the effect of high interest rates, inflation and declining consumer confidence on the economy. Stats SA said retail sales fell 1.6% year on year from a 0.7% contraction in February.