A beacon of hope was recorded for the year rolling off March 2017 with a relief 0.3% decrease in the inflation rate. In comparison to the year ending February 2017 where the inflation was 6.7%, on March it came down to 6.4%.
Data analyzed by Uganda Bureau of Statistics recorded that the decline was due to a fall in annual core inflation to 4.8% versus the 5.7% recorded in the year ended February 2017. A fall in services inflation to 4.7% versus 5.9% in the year ending March was responsible for the decline in core inflation, which is closely tracked by the Central Bank.
“The key sector that led to the decline[of services inflation] was education inflation that dropped to 11.8% for the year ending March 2017 compared to 20.2% recorded during the year ended February 2017,” according to a statement from the statistics bureau.
March’s headline inflation is the second-highest in one year after February’s headline rate.
Prices of food crops in the year ended March 2017 rose to 20.7%, compared to 18.8% in February. This was on the back of fruits inflation increasing to 35.6% compared to 28.5% in the year ended February 2017.
The annual energy, fuels, and utilities inflation rose to 3.8% in March versus the 1.0% recorded during the year ended February 2017. Solid fuels drive the increase, with their prices rising 3.5% in the year ended March compared to -2.1% in the year ended February. Liquid fuel prices also increased by 2.5% in the period versus -1.0% in February.
On the other hand, inflation during the month of March dropped to 0.6% from the 0.9% recorded in February. The drop was a result of a fall in monthly core inflation to 0.2% versus 0.6% in the previous month. The prices of food crops and related items rose 3.6% compared to 3.4% in February, while energy, fuel and utilities inflation also increased by 0.9% versus 0.2% the previous month.
The Fort Portal geographical area registered the highest annual inflation of 10.6% versus 8.9% in February, with a 23.3% rise in annual inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages contributing the most to the increase. Mbarara registered the second highest inflation of 8.2% versus 7.4% in February, while Jinja had the third highest rate of 7.0% versus 7.1% the previous month.