Price Stability: How Onions, Maize Flour, and Sugar Are Impacting Uganda’s Inflation

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In Uganda, a noticeable decline in the average year on year inflation rate has been attributed to the consistent prices of onions, maize flour, and sugar over the past 12 months, culminating in October 2023.

Average Year on Year Inflation Rates

Period Average Inflation Rate
Oct 2022 – Oct 2023 2.4%
Oct 2021 – Sep 2023 2.7%


According to the recent report from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the average inflation rate from October 2022 to October 2023 was 2.4%, showing a decline from the 2.7% average recorded in the preceding 12 months, ending in September 2023.

Changes in Inflation Rates for Select Commodities

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Commodity Inflation Rate (Oct 2023) Inflation Rate (Sep 2023)
Onions 115.4% 130.8%
Sugar 16.3% 34.0%
Maize Flour -23.0% -3.8%


Among these, round onions fall under the “food crops and related items” category, while maize flour and sugar are categorized as “other goods.” These categories have been identified as the primary drivers behind the deceleration in the Consumer Price Index.

Edgar Niyimpa, a Principal Statistician at UBOS, observed, “From the core classification category, we recorded slowdowns in other commodities, for example, rice was registered at 0.2% compared to 5.2% last month, and Mukene was at -10.7%, versus -5.4%.”

While these categories experienced a decrease in inflation, the services sector noted an increase in inflation rate, reaching 2.2% from 1.6% in the previous year. This is primarily due to inflation in education services, which increased to 6.1% compared to 3.8% in the previous month.

Inflation Changes in Other Categories

Sector Inflation Rate (Oct 2023) Inflation Rate (Sep 2023)
Services 2.2% 1.6%
Energy, Fuel, and Utilities 2.2% -1.2%


The Energy, Fuel, and Utilities sectors also experienced increased inflation, rising to 2.2% from a negative 1.2%. This increase can be attributed to factors such as petrol, electricity, and water charges.

On an annual average basis, there was a 0.3 percentage point reduction in inflation, with a month-to-month increase of 0.6%, which is lower than the 0.7% recorded in the August to September period.

Inflation Averages

Period Year-to-Year Change Month-to-Month Change
Aug 2023 – Sep 2023 0.7% 0.6%
Sep 2022 – Sep 2023 1.0% 0.6%


The report also notes an increase in the average prices of selected products on a month-to-month basis. For instance, petrol stood at 5,485 shillings in October, up from 5,384 shillings, diesel increased to 5,153 shillings, compared to 4,970 shillings in September, and sugar was at 5,847 shillings, up from 5,586 shillings recorded in September.

These changes in inflation rates and commodity prices have significant implications for Uganda’s economy, reflecting the influence of key staples like round onions, maize flour, and sugar on the country’s overall financial landscape.

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