Rwanda’s urban inflation driven higher by food prices

Rwanda’s consumer price index for urban areas rose 2.21% in March on the back of higher food prices, pushing year-on-year inflation to 8.18% from 7.85% in February, data showed on Monday.

The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda said food and non-alcoholic beverage prices climbed 4.37% from February, led by a 10.55% jump in the cost of vegetables.

The price of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose 2.55% in March, while communication costs increased 1.99%.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco bucked the trend, falling 3.71% month-on-month.

The inflation rate for Rwanda as a whole, where food and drink makes up almost two-thirds of the basket, hit 12.08% from 9.83% a month earlier.

The urban inflation rate, the measure watched closely by the east Africa country’s central bank, rose steadily during 2011 to hit a peak of 8.34% in December. It fell off in January but has since resumed an upwards trend.

Rwanda’s central bank held its key lending rate at 7% on March 16. — Reuters

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