Rise in food prices pushes up inflation   

Wednesday March 31 2021
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The price of some food items rose during the period ended March. PHOTO | EDGAR R. BATTE

By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH

Headline inflation increased to 4.1 per cent for the period ended March due to an upsurge in the price of food crops and related items, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos)   

This was a growth from 3.8 per cent registered for the year ended February 2021. 

The increase signifies that the prices of some food items were relatively higher than they were in February. 

Details released by Ubos yesterday indicated that food crops and related items inflation increased to - 0.9 per cent in March compared to - 4.3 per cent for the period ended February. 

The increase was mainly driven by annual inflation for vegetables, which rose to 0.6 per cent in March compared to - 4.7 per cent in February.  

In particular, Ubos said, inflation for vegetables cultivated for fruits, increased to 2.5 per cent in the period compared to - 12.6 per cent in February. 

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Annual fruits inflation increased to - 0.8 per cent compared to - 3.3 per cent during the period under review. 

However, Ubos said, core inflation, which measures changes in the price of goods and service, excluding food and energy decreased to 5.3 per cent compared to the 5.6 per cent in February.  

The decrease, Ubos said, was due to a slight drop in services inflation which dropped to 10.2 per cent in March compared to 10.6 per cent in February. 

Transport services inflation, which largely feeds into core inflation, decreased to 53.9 per cent in March compared to 56.3 per cent in February while other goods inflation dropped to 2 per cent during the period from 2.3 per cent in February.  

Transport charges have since June remained high, doubling for most routes across the country.  However, the drop indicates a decline in charges during the period under review. 

Ubos also indicated that energy fuel and utilities inflation increased to - 0.8 per cent in March compared to - 2.6 per cent in February due to an increase in solid fuels inflation, which rose to - 0.2 per cent from - 3.8 per cent. 

Specifically, Ubos said, charcoal inflation increased to 0.3 per cent in March compared to - 3.4 per cent in February while firewood inflation rose to - 13.2 per cent for the period ended March from - 15.6 per cent in February. 

Petrol inflation increased to - 0.7 per cent in March compared to - 1.8 per cent in February. 

Inflation by region      

According to Ubos, Arua registered the highest inflation of 7.3 per cent, which was higher than the 5.7 per cent in February.  

The Kampala High Income area followed, registering an increase to 4.9 per cent in March. However, this was a reduction from the 5 per cent registered in February. 

Inflation in Masaka rose to 3.4 per cent from 2.7 per cent while in Fortportal it increased to 2.4 per cent up from 2 per cent. In Jinja, it rose to 2.6 per cent from 2.1 per cent. 

Gulu registered the least inflation recording a slight increase to 2 per cent compared to 1.9 per cent in February. 

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