By Raymond Baguma
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) yesterday released the Producer Price Index (PPI) for the construction, hotel and manufacturing sectors for September to December 2013 at Statistics House in Kampala.
The latest PPI reveal a general increase in the prices of construction materials and manufactured products, while the hotel industry generally recorded price falls over the festive period in December.
The construction sector indices show that the prices of construction materials, wage rates, and equipment hire rates increased by 0.9% in the year ending December 2013, compared to the year ending in December 2012.
The index examined the prices of construction inputs such as timber, paint, PVC pipes, water tanks, clay bricks and tiles, cement, concrete, steel bars, roofing sheets and iron and steel bars, electrical wires and cables, lime, stone aggregate, diesel and bitumen.
The price increase was attributed to increase in wage rates due to the increased cost of living, as well as increase in the average prices of inputs for roads such as bitumen arising from a rise in operational costs at the port of entry in Mombasa.
Also, there was an increase in the rates for hiring equipment due to a rise in demand yet the equipment was in limited supply, according to William Anguyo a principal statistician for business and industry statistics.
However, there was a decline in the prices of inputs for residential buildings, attributed to a fall in the price of cement due to falling demand following the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan.
Also, the fall in the price of concrete products, roofing sheets and electrical wires was attributed to availability of cheaper raw materials especially cement, as well as the fall in the exchange rate for dollars.
The hotels and restaurants producer price index indicates a drop in the prices of hotel accommodation for short state residence rooms and hotel suites; but an increase in the prices of catering services such as foods and snacks.
The drop in hotel accommodation was attributed to a continued general drop and stability of the dollar, which is the payment current for major hotels, according to principal statistician Dick Wanasolo Wadada.
The hotel conference facility prices increase due to a high demand for conference services. The food prices increase was attributed to an increase in demand and consumption patterns during the festive season in December.
Winifred Mulindwa, a principal statistician who presented the manufacturing PPI revealed a fall in the prices of processed foods attributed to falls in prices of sugar, processed coffee and vegetable oil.
However, during the same period there was an increase in the prices of drinks and tobacco, chemical products as well as textiles and clothing. This was due to the rise in prices on the international market
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