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Sugar, onions and maize flour prices slow down Uganda inflation

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s year-on-year average inflation rates have steadily decreased, with the reduced price increments of onions, maize flour, and sugar over the past 12 months, ending in October 2023.

According to the latest report released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the average inflation rate for the period from October 2022 to October 2023 stood at 2.4 percent, down from the 2.7 percent average recorded in the previous 12 months ending in September 2023.

The rate at which onion prices increased slowed down to 115.4 percent, from 130.8 percent recorded in the previous month. The inflation rate for sugar slowed to 16.3 percent, compared to 34.0 percent. Maize flour prices decreased to a negative 23.0 percent, a significant change from negative 3.8 percent in the same period.

Maize flour and sugar fall into the “other goods” classification category, while round onions are categorized as “food crops and related items.” These two categories are identified as the main drivers behind the slowdown in the Consumer Price Index.

Edgar Niyimpa, a Principal Statistician at UBOS, said, “From the core classification category, we recorded slowdowns in other commodities, for example, rice was registered at 0.2 percent compared to 5.2 percent last month, and Mukene was at negative 10.7 percent, versus the negative 5.4 percent.”

As the two categories registered decreases,  the services sector saw an increased inflation rate of 2.2 percent, up from 1.6 percent recorded in the previous year, primarily due to inflation in education services, which increased to 6.1 percent compared to 3.8 percent in the last month.

The Energy, Fuel, and Utilities sectors also experienced increased inflation, rising to 2.2 percent from a negative 1.2 percent. “This increase can be attributed to factors such as petrol, electricity, and water charges,” reads part of 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, lower than the 0.7 percent recorded in the August to September period.

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

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

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