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Uganda Inflation at 13-Month High Hardens Case for Rate Increase

Ugandan inflation accelerated to a 13-month high in September, giving the central bank scope to raise its policy rate for the second straight month.

The inflation rate climbed for a third month to 8 percent from 7.3 percent in August, Chris Mukiza, director of macroeconomic statistics, told reporters today in the capital, Kampala. Prices rose 1.4 percent in the month, he said.

Uganda’s central bank on Sept. 3 increased its benchmark interest rate for the first time in almost two years to 12 percent from 11 percent to curb inflation, which is above its official target of 5 percent over the medium term.

Monetary policy makers will next meet Oct. 2. Forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of four economists and analysts range from an unchanged decision to a 1 percentage point increase.

Annual food-crop prices rose 16.2 percent from 12.9 percent in August, while core inflation quickened to 6.9 percent from 6.6 percent, Mukiza said.

Higher prices for food, which accounts for 27 percent of the consumer-price basket, stemmed from “decreased food supplies on the market as a result of moving out of the harvesting season,” Mukiza said. Prices of dietary staples including bananas, potatoes, beans, milk and fish increased in the month.

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