Uganda’s Year-On-Year Inflation Rates Decrease as Key Commodity Prices Stabilize

Sugar, onions and maize flour prices slow down Uganda inflation. PHOTO/X

Uganda has seen a consistent reduction in year-on-year average inflation rates, particularly in the prices of onions, maize flour, and sugar over the past 12 months, culminating in October 2023.

According to the most recent report from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the average inflation rate from October 2022 to October 2023 was 2.4 percent, down from the 2.7 percent average observed in the previous 12 months ending in September 2023.

The rate of increase in onion prices slowed to 115.4 percent, down from the previous month’s 130.8 percent. Sugar’s inflation rate also decreased to 16.3 percent from 34.0 percent. Most notably, maize flour prices dipped to a negative 23.0 percent, a significant change from the negative 3.8 percent in the same period.

These commodities fall under the “other goods” category for maize flour and sugar and “food crops and related items” for round onions. These categories have been the main contributors to the deceleration in the Consumer Price Index.

Edgar Niyimpa, a Principal Statistician at UBOS, noted, “In the core classification category, we observed slowdowns in other commodities as well, for instance, rice registered at 0.2 percent compared to 5.2 percent last month, and Mukene was at a negative 10.7 percent, versus the negative 5.4 percent.”

While these categories experienced decreases, the services sector saw an increased inflation rate of 2.2 percent, up from the previous year’s 1.6 percent. This was mainly due to inflation in education services, which rose to 6.1 percent compared to 3.8 percent in the prior month.

The Energy, Fuel, and Utilities sectors also saw an increase in inflation, rising to 2.2 percent from a negative 1.2 percent. This can be attributed to factors such as higher petrol, electricity, and water charges, as stated in the report.

On a year-to-year average basis, there was a 0.3 percentage point reduction in inflation, with a month-to-month increase of 0.6 percent, slightly lower than the 0.7 percent recorded in the August to September period.

The report also highlighted an increase in the average prices of selected products on a month-to-month basis, with petrol at 5,485 shillings, up from 5,384 shillings, diesel at 5,153 shillings, higher than the 4,970 shillings in September, and sugar at 5,847 shillings compared to the 5,586 shillings recorded the previous month.

These shifts in inflation rates and commodity prices have significant implications for Uganda’s economy, and they underscore the influence of key staples like round onions, maize flour, and sugar on the overall financial landscape in the country.

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