Inflation eases to 7.3% year on year in April


A grocery shop at Kimironko market in Kigali. (Sam Ngendahimana)

Rwanda’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, eased to 7.3 percent year on year in April 2017 down from 7.7 percent registered the previous month.

This is, however, still higher than 4.7 per cent registered the same period in 2016.

According to the monthly report released by the National Institute of statistics of Rwanda (NISR), yesterday, the increase was largely attributed to the rising prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which rose by almost 15.8 percent.

On a monthly basis the country’s CPI increased by 0.4 percent in April 2017 pushing inflation of basic utilities including housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels to rise by 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

 Meanwhile, the underlying inflation rate (excluding fresh food and energy) increased by 0.3 percent when compared to March 2017 and increased by 4.8 percent when compared to April 2016.

 “This therefore means that Rwanda’s average underlying inflation rate is currently established at 4.8 percent, said Lucie Mutetijabiro, the NISR price statistics and research unit team leader.

The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) recently attributed the rising inflationary pressures to rising food prices due to weather conditions and transport inflation.

These pressures, according to John Rwangombwa, the governor, Central Bank are expected to persist till June during the harvest season.

“There have been inflationary pressures for a while now and was mainly due to pressures from food and transport. We expect these pressures to persist until the harvest in June. Overall, we expected to see inflation averaging at about 7 per cent at the end of the year,” Rwangombwa said in a recent interview with The New Times.

 It is also important to note that inflationary pressures have been experienced across the region and have also been attributed to poor performance in the agriculture sector and increase in crude oil prices.