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Uganda Inflation Rate Rises for 1st Time This Year on Fuel Price

Uganda’s inflation accelerated in March for the first time since December as fuel prices increased, stifling the prospect of interest-rate cuts.

Inflation quickened to 4 percent from a revised 3.5 percent in February, Vincent Nusbuga Musoke, principal statistician at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, told reporters today in the capital, Kampala. Prices rose 0.9 percent in the month, he said.

Acceleration in inflation may force the central bank to keep its benchmark rate at 12 percent, where it has remained since December, said Arthur Nsiko, an economist at the Kampala-based research company African Alliance Uganda Ltd. An increase in rates would go against the bank’s efforts to stimulate growth by boosting lending, he said.

The prices of gasoline, diesel, kerosene, gas and firewood rose in the month, the bureau said without giving details. Food prices declined 0.9 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 2 percent drop in February.

Underlying inflation, which excludes food crops, fuel, electricity and metered water, quickened to 6.8 percent in March from a revised 5.6 percent in February, the bureau said.

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