Inflation attacks again, traders feel the pinch

Traders in Kampala are feeling the pinch of rising commodity prices. They reveal that their sales have been so low in the last two months and this is attributed to the flactuated prices whereas the money in circulation is very low.

Some of the traders who are questioned go ahead to indicate that some of the commodities that are purchased faster have more less turned like luxury to consumers that they are not buying in large amounts now. From soap to cooking oil to fuel, prices of most basic items have hit an all-time high affecting low income earners who do not have enough money to purchase these necessities.

Retail price of a kilogram of soap was about four thousand five hundred shillings in January but by the end of March it was about nine thousand shilling. The price of cooking oil has also increased during the same period and most people have resorted to boiling all their food rather than fry using cooking oil.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), annual inflation stood at 3.7% at end of March 2022 from 3.2% in February. UBOS says the increase is the highest since September of 2018. While the increase in soap and cooking oil prices have been linked to external factor like shortage in raw materials mainly imported from Malaysia, traders in Kampala indicate that prices of other commodities have risen too currently.

Rose Nakanjako, who runs a wholesaler store in Kisenyi, said while she has stocked commodities going per her previous sales, buyers are nowhere to be seen.

For example, I used to sell more than 20 sacks of rice in a week, but now to make 15 is not easy,” she said.

She attributes this to a thought that most people nolonger have money to purchase commodities.

Caroline Zawedde, a boutique retailer also said customer scarcity has been the worst in the past two months.