Increasing commodity prices pushed Rwanda’s annual inflation to 4.6 per cent in March, up from 0.8 per cent during the same period last year, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) monthly report indicates.
According to the report, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverage increased by 7.8 per cent, pushing monthly inflation rate by 0.9 per cent in March. Equally, prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels went up by 2.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively
The annual average inflation rate was recorded at 3.4 per cent year-on-year, up from 3.1 per cent in February last year. The underlying inflation rate (excluding fresh food and energy) rose by 0.1 per cent month-on-month, and was up by 2.9 per cent on an annual basis. Lucie Mutetijabiro, the NISR price statistics and research unit team leader, said the annual average underlying inflation rate was at 2.4 per cent last month.
According to the report, Rwanda inflation rate is moderate and still at low and manageable levels despite the fact that it has been increasing since January last year. Under 5 per cent inflation rate is still manageable and no cause for alarm as per central bank target. Headline inflation has since increased from 1.8 per cent in 2014 to 2.5 per cent in 2015, driven by rising food prices, especially influenced by vegetable prices.
Core inflation, which excludes fresh products and energy, slightly declined on average from 2.7 per cent in 2014 to 2.1 per cent in 2015 justifying the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) decision to maintain the ongoing monetary policy stance to continue supporting the financing of economic activities. The downward pressures according to BNR came from transport prices following the trend in international oil prices.