9 May 2019

East Africa: Uganda, Kenya Hit By Rising Cost of Living, Statistics Show

Kampala Uganda and Kenya were hit by high cost of living for the month ended April, according to data released by the two countries' bureaus of statistics.

Inflation for the month ended April, respectively moved northwards with Kenya recording the highest.

The movements were on account of the effects of severe weather and high fuel prices. This meant that households and businesses spent more than what they spent in March on the same quantity of fuel.

Uganda's overall month-on-month inflation rose to 3.5 per cent in April from 3 per cent in March while Kenya saw the highest cost of living in 19 months as its inflation jumped to 6.58 per cent from 4.35 per cent in the same period last year.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos), the increase in the cost of living during April was a result of rising food and fuel prices with fruits and vegetables being the hardest hit. However, the 3.5 per cent remains below the Central Bank's target of 5 per cent.

In its monthly monetary policy review, Bank of Uganda said risks to the inflationary pressures included uncertain weather conditions, strengthening of the domestic market for goods and services and the volatile exchange rate.

The movements negatively impact the cost of living, cost of doing business and borrowing money from banks.

In Kenya, inflation was triggered by high food and fuel prices according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Analysts at the Africa-focused financial advisory firm StratLink said the adverse weather conditions experienced in the country pose a risk to the inflation prospects.

"Rainfall patterns between October last year and now indicate the prevalence of moderate to severely dry conditions over much of the Greater Horn of Africa," said an April market report published by StratLink.


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