Mbale, Gulu register highest price hikes  

Prices of food have been increasing since the beginning of the year, causing a rise in inflation. Photo | file

What you need to know:

Price increases, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, were slower in Mbarara, Kampala low, high and middle income areas during the period ended July

Price increases were highest in Mbale and Gulu during the period ended July, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos). 

Data from Ubos indicates that prices of goods and services in Mbale increased by 11 percent in the 12 months to July up from 9.2 percent in June due in part to annual food and non-alcoholic beverages’ inflation, which increased to 21 percent up from 16.9 percent during the period. 
Similarly, price increases in Mbale were also driven by annual health inflation, which during the period increased to 11.5 percent up from 6.1 percent.
 
In Gulu, Ubos data indicates, prices increased by 10.8 percent for the 12 months to July up from 10.4 percent due to transport inflation, which rose to -2.2 percent up from -4.3 percent while food and non-alcoholic beverages’ inflation surged to 23 percent up from 22.5 percent during the period. 
In Arua, prices increased by 10.7 percent from 9.8 percent while in Jinja they rose by 8.8 percent during the period from 7.7 percent in June. 

Fortportal and Masaka, which have in the last few month registered higher increases, registered a slowdown with prices rising by 8.5 percent from 8.2 percent and 7.9 percent 7.1 percent, respectively.   
Price increases for both commodities and services have exerted pressure on inflation since beginning of year begun, rising to 7.9 percent in July from 6.8 percent in June.
 
Inflation is now 2.9 percentage points above Bank of Uganda’s 5 percent target, which presents serious challenges to economic growth, which, after almost two years of being dampened by Covid-19 disruptions, had started to recover in the early months of 2022.

However, price increases were slower in Mbarara, rising by 6.4 percent for the 12 months to July up from 4.7 percent due to a decrease in information and communication inflation, which dropped by -5.4 percent down from 0.1 percent in June. 
Similarly, restaurants and accommodation services’ inflation decreased to 4.6 percent in July up from 5.3 percent in June. 
  
In Kampala, which is segmented into three categories, price increases where relatively slower compared to other parts of the country. 

For instance, in Kampala low income area prices increased by 7.7 percent from 6.9 percent while in Kampala middle income, prices increased by 7.6 percent from 6.5 percent in June. In the Kampala high income area prices increased by 6.8 percent down from 5.7 percent.
 
Commodity and service prices have largely been impacted by a rapid surge in fuel prices, which after increasing almost every after two days, have for more than a week, remained steady at an average of Shs6,500 for every litre of petrol. Diesel currently sells at an average of Shs6,3500. 

Government also cut quarterly budget releases from 25 percent to 19 percent as a way of curtailing inflationary pressures, which have been rising since the beginning of the year.  

Food, transport drive inflation to 7.9 percent

Price increases in cassava, maize flour and transport drove inflation to 7.9 percent in July, increasing the cost of living across the country. 

Data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) indicates that inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for the 12 months to July, rose to 7.9 percent up from 6.8 percent in June.  
The increase, Ms Aliziki K Lubega, the Ubos director economic statistics, said was mainly driven by a rise in prices of commodities under core inflation, which increased to 6.
3 percent in July up from 5.5 percent.
  
Particularly, she said, increase in inflation for commodities such as cassava flour, which rose to 62.3 percent from 31.2 percent and maize flour to 56.3 percent from 48.3 percent, impacted the general outlook of inflation, exacerbated by services inflation, which increased to 2 percent in July up from 1.1 percent in June.  

Transport inflation increased to 4.6 percent in July down from 1.7 percent in June due to motorcycle fares inflation, which rose to 18.8 percent from 3.2 percent.
 
The increase in transport fare demonstrates how high fuel prices have spilled into other sectors of the economy.
  
During the period, energy fuel and utilities inflation increased to 17.2 percent up from 14.2 percent due to liquid energy fuels inflation, which rose to 53 percent up from 44.7 percent, partly as a result of petrol inflation, which increased to 56.1 percent from 45.9 percent.

Ms Lubega also indicated that food crops and related items inflation increased to 16.4 percent up from 14.5 percent due to increase in vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses’ inflation, which rose to 23.7 percent up from 18.9 percent in June. 

Specifically, she noted, matooke inflation increased to 50.7 percent up from 32.5 percent while beans inflation rose to 18.2 percent up from 7.7 percent. 
National water charges inflation increased to 5.8 percent in July up from zero percent in June.

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