The first quarter of the year is already behind us, and if there were any thoughts that this year would afford us a respite from the challenges experienced in 2021, the shocking events unfolding in the Ukraine and the impact they are having on the world have put a swift end to any such hopes.
We are, together with the rest of the world, strapped in for this ride. The domestic interest rate rose for the first time in three years from 7.0% in October last year to its current level of 7.75%, and most economists are expecting another 1.25% rise before the end of 2023. The global economy and the shortage of food supply, especially commodities like wheat and cooking oil, are contributing to rising inflation throughout the world, and South Africa will not escape its impact. Add to this the volatility in the price of crude oil due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with domestic fuel prices reaching all-time highs, and we have a recipe for tough times ahead.