February 2019 CPI inflation

In February 2019, Rwanda Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased year-on-year by 0.8 percent, slower than 1.0 percent achieved in January 2019. Month-to-month, urban consumer price index was slightly up to 0.3 percent from the status quo the previous month.

On monthly basis, upward pressures came from food and non-alcoholic beverages together with housing, electricity, gas and other fuels whose price index went up by 0.7 percent and 0.1 percent respectively in February 2019 from -0.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively the previous month. 

On annual basis, inflationary pressures were fueled by high cost of transport category (+8.2 percent unchanged compared to January 2019), non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+7.8 percent similar to January 2019) as well as from housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+1.2 percent from 2.6 percent in January 2019) outweighing deflationary pressures from food and non-alcoholic beverages (-4.1 percent after -4.3 percent in January 2019).

Within transport, price increased for purchase of cars and minibus, motorcycle, bicycles, spare parts and lubricants for vehicles, diesel, fuel, taxi fees, air transport cost among others.  Regarding housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, inflationary pressures came mostly from building repair supplies and labor, wood for construction, kerosene, gas, construction wood, charcoal, water expense and actual rent among others.

Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, in contrast, remained lower than their level last year mainly reflecting favorable weather conditions for increased agriculture production. Prices plunged for almost all food items as markets remained well supplied. Inflation was significantly negative for banana for cooking and banana for beer, green peas, sorghum, cassava flour, fruits, milling flours, vegetables including eggplant, onion, cabbage and kale, among others.

In February 2019, annual inflation was subdued for locally produced goods (0.3 percent from 0.5 percent in January), but, increased for imported ones (2.6 percent after 2.7 percent the previous month). The general price index excluding food and energy rose by 1.6 percent year-on-year, slightly higher than 1.5 percent in January 2019. Energy inflation was 1.1 percent from 4.7 percent in January 2019 and fresh food index went down year-on-year by 3.1 percent and 2.7 percent respectively in February and January 2019.