Inflation rate on the rise as food prices increase

Rwanda’s inflation has been recorded at 10.3 per cent on annual average in the month of February.

Rwanda’s inflation has been recorded at 10.3 per cent on annual average in the month of February.

Statistics from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) indicate that this rate is slightly up from the previous month’s (January) — that was at 10 per cent. It is also far above the inflation of December last year that was recorded at 9.1 per cent.

In the month of February the general Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was 151.7 compared to149 in January.

This stands for an increase of 1.84 per cent over the previous month. The annual change rose up to 6.21 per cent compared to 6.45 per cent in January.

The increase in the CPI of 1.84 per cent, according to NISR, is primarily due to the rise in prices of ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages which rose by 2.15 per cent.

In February, bread and cereals prices increased by 1.66 per cent and meat soared by 2.63 per cent.

Fish prices also increased by 4.13 per cent and vegetables 4.31 per cent.

The statistics indicate that alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 4.03 per cent, Transport 4.58 per cent while restaurant and hotel prices also increased by 4.14 per cent.

"However, prices of the communication function decreased by negative 14.23 per cent, because of the reduction in the price of the call unit which passed from Frw147 to Frw100," a statement from NISR reads in part.

Increase in the index of 6.21 per cent in annual change is mainly due to the rising prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 16.16 percent.

Increasing school fees pushed education costs to 12.62 per cent while transport costs hit a 16.55 per cent mark due constant increase in fuel prices.

NISR noted that the local goods are more responsible for inflation than imported ones.

"In terms of annual change, the prices of the local products have increased by 4.97 per cent with a monthly variation of 1.40 per cent, while prices of the imported products have risen by 7.58 per cent with a monthly change of 3.48 percent," the read.

The prices of the fresh products recorded a negative annual variation of 5.85 per cent between February 2008 and February 2007 at the time when the monthly variation is positive 3.32 per cent

Inflation to worsen

Economists have predicted that underlying inflation rate is however likely to worsen since foodstuffs and fuel prices have constantly gone up since March.

Prices of some essential commodities including vegetables, fuel, grains and detergents have increased by 100 per cent.

In a mini market survey carried out by The New Times team recently in several of Kigali’s markets, salt increased from Frw100 to Frw240 per kg while a tablet of soap that used to cost Frw50 has spiraled to Frw100 in most retail shops in the city.

Irish potatoes were being quoted higher from Frw100 to 120 per kg, followed by tomatoes from Frw400 to Frw500 per kg. The price of a kilogramme of beans, the common dish in the country has also increased from Frw300 per kg to Frw400 per kg.

While the price of peas, consumed by the upscale and middle class soared from Frw600 to Frw1, 000 per kg in the last two months, beef that used to cost Frw1,000 is now at Frw1,200 per kg.

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