Gulu, Fort Portal record highest increase in commodity prices

The increase in fuel prices has had a major impact on the price of goods and services across the country.  PHOTO | file

What you need to know:

  • Prices of commodities and services have been increasing since November with Gulu and Fort Portal being the hardest hit while Mbarara and Jinja have experienced modest increases. 

Gulu City experienced the highest increase in commodity and services prices during April, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos). 

Gulu City, data indicates was followed by Fort Portal, Mbale and Arua, while Mbarara and Jinja recorded the lowest increases. 

Price movements in Kampala (among high, middle and low income segments) and Masaka were modest, according to Ubos. 

During April, Ubos data indicates, commodity and services prices in Gulu City increased by an average 6.9 percent, up from 5.5 percent due to a surge in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels prices, which rose by 12.9 percent up from 7.7 percent. 

The increase was also attributed to a surge in recreation, sport and culture prices, which rose by 11.4 percent up from 3.6 percent. 

In Fort Portal, commodity and service prices rose by 5.8 percent up from 3.7 percent in March due to an increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages prices by 6.3 percent up from 1.3 percent as well as a surge in prices of furnishings, household equipment and routine household, which rose by 21.1 percent in April up from 12.5 percent in March.

However, in Jinja, Ubos data indicates, prices increased marginally by 3.8 percent up from 2.6 percent, driven by a decrease in prices attributed to personal care, social protection and miscellaneous goods, which declined by 4.4 percent up from 6.9 percent. 

Jinja also registered a decline in prices attributed to restaurants and accommodation services, which dropped by 5.9 percent in April down from 7.2 percent in March. 

The increase in prices signals high inflationary pressures, which according to Ubos, saw inflation rise to 4.9 percent up from 3.7 percent in March, which is the highest level Ugandans have experienced since 2016. 

The 4.9 percent inflation is just within a point of the 5 percent Central Bank target, above which the economy is likely to face multiple challenges.

The increase has largely been attributed to energy fuel and utilities inflation, which increased to 11.2 percent in April up from 8.5 percent due to liquid energy fuels such as petrol, diesel and gas, whose inflation rose to 30.3 percent up from 26.4 percent. 

Liquefied gas inflation increased to 20.2 percent up from 9.9 percent, while solid fuels inflation such as charcoal increased to 3.4 percent up from -1.1 percent. 
Ms Alikiza Kaudha Lubega, the Ubos director micro economics, at the weekend said prices of goods and services have been rising, driven by non-durable goods inflation, which has increased to 8.2 percent up from 5.8 percent. 

However, she said semi-durable goods inflation had  decreased to 3.8 percent down from 4.3 percent in March while food crops and related items inflation rose to 4.3 percent up from 3.6 percent.

 During the period, services inflation increased to 1.7 percent up from 1.4 percent while vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking banana and pulses inflation increased to 4.5 percent from 1.7 percent. 

Tomatoes inflation increased to -16.9 percent up from -27.7 percent.