The annual headline inflation for the year ending February 2019 increased to 3.0% compared to the 2.7% registered during the year ending January 2019, a Consumer Price Index (CPI) report indicates.
CPI measures price movement of goods and services over a given period. The report is released monthly by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).
Dr Chris Mukiza the UBOS director of macroeconomic statistics, attributed the increase in headline inflation largely due to the annual core inflation, which increased to 3.7% in February compared to the 3.4% per cent registered for January.
"The driver for the increase in annual core inflation was annual communication inflation that increased to 21.4% in February 2019 from 5.5% recorded for the year ended January 2019," Mukiza said.
In particular, prices of telephone and telefax services increased to 28.7% in February 2019 compared to 7.0% recorded during the period under review.
In addition, the other services inflation rose to 10.9% for the year ending February 2019 compared to 3.5% registered in January 2019, notably passport fees rose to 49.1% for the year ending February 2019 compared to 0.0% registered in January 2019.
Ordinary passport fees increased from sh150,000 to sh200,000 while the fees for those carried by government officials and diplomats increased from sh200,000 to sh500,000. The express passport fees increased to sh400,000 from sh300,000.
“The increase in inflation means that the cost of living for Ugandans is rising. They have to dig deep into their pockets to buy the same items,” Mukiza explained.
However, the annual energy, fuels and utilities (EFU) Inflation decreased to 5.9% in February 2019 compared to the 7.2% which recorded for the year ended January 2019. EFU includes petrol, diesel, kerosene and charcoal.
“The decrease in EFU is due to a reduction of oil prices in the international market," UBOS principal statistician Vincent Nsubuga said.
Inflation by geographical areas indicates that Kampala high income registered the highest inflation of 5.5% from 4% that was registered in January 2019.
This was followed by Kampala middle income, at 2.8% from 2.5%. Fort Portal was the least hit by inflation.
On a monthly basis, headline Inflation for February 2019 has been recorded at 0.3% compared to 0.2% recorded in January 2019.
“The increase in the monthly headline inflation was attributed to the monthly food crops and related items inflation that registered 2.1% increase in February 2019 from the 0.4% recorded in January 2019,” Mukiza said.
The increase was largely due to the increase in prices of vegetables which increased by 4.0% from 1%.