Consumer prices unchanged in February

Monthly inflation also rose in February on higher food prices, particularly tomato and orange prices

People descending stairs from a shop
Photo: Edgar Batte/Uganda Business News

Uganda consumer price inflation held steady in February as core consumer prices stayed flat, suggesting inflationary pressures remain muted and in line with the Bank of Uganda’s most recent assessment.

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics said on Friday its consumer price index rose 3.4% in the year ending February, the same rate recorded in the previous month. The closely watched core consumer price index was also flat, rising 3.1%, the same rate registered in January.

“The increase in annual core inflation is attributed to annual other goods inflation that is registered at 4.2% for the year ending February 2020 compared to 4.1% recorded for the year ended January 2020,” a statement by Ubos said.

“In particular, the annual clothing and footwear inflation increased to 3.5% for the year ending February 2020 compared to 2.4%” recorded the previous month. Services inflation also rose 1.6%, slightly higher than last month’s 1.5% increase.

The 12-month food crops and related items inflation rate rose 1.3%, lower than January’s 2.6% increase. Ubos attributed the slower rise to a decrease in the annual fruits inflation rate, particularly the 12-month inflation rate for bananas which fell even further in February.

Energy, fuel, and utilities inflation increased 8% year on year in February, faster than the 7.7% rise recorded in January. “The increase is mainly due to solid fuels inflation that is registered at 26.6% for the year ending February 2020 compared to the 25.2% recorded for the year ended January 2020.”

Monthly inflation

The monthly headline inflation rate for February 2020 rose by 0.2%, up from the 0.1% recorded in January.

The rise was attributed to the monthly food crops and related items inflation rate which increased by 0.8% compared to a drop of 0.4% in January 2020. This was mainly due to a 24.8% rise in the prices of tomatoes from the previous month, an increase in the price of oranges by 15.8%, and a 13.6% rise in cassava prices. Fish prices were also up 7.8%.

However, price decreases were recorded for matooke, pawpaws, mangoes, and pineapples.

The monthly core inflation rate was flat at 0.1%, the same increase recorded in January 2020. Still, Ubos said the monthly services inflation rate was up 0.2% versus a 0.4% drop the previous month.

Energy, fuel, and utilities inflation increased by 0.5% in February on a monthly basis, up from 0.0% in January. Solid fuels inflation was up 1.6% in February from the 0.1% rise recorded for January. However, the liquid energy fuels rate fell 0.3%, slower than the 0.6% drop recorded the previous month.