By Edwin Muhumuza
Hotels and restaurants have continued to experience a decline in clientele in spite of a reduction in prices of rooms and suites for accommodation.
This is according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics while releasing the Producer Price Indices for the Manufacturing, Construction, Hotels and Restaurants sectors.
The Director of Business and Industry Statistics, Peter Opio said that the annual Producer Price Index in this sector had a decrease of 0.4% for Q1 FY2020/21 whereas Q1 FY2019/20 registered 3.6%. It was due to accommodation which had a -5.8%. Catering services producer prices increased by 2.3% compared to 13.9%.
‘The effect of the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic between Q3 FY 2019/20 AND Q4 FY2019/20 that spilled over to Q1 FY2020/21.There are no people and if they are, they are very few.’ He said.
Relatedly, the annual Producer Prices for drinks increased by 4.3% for Q1 FY2020/21 compared to 9.5% for Q1 FY 2019/20.
Prices of catering services increased by 1.3% which was attributed to a 0.8% increase in food and snacks with a 1.0% increase in Ala carte meals.
In the Manufacturing and Utility sectors, the average annual Producer Prices combined increased by 2.7% in September 2020 compared to 2.6% of August 2020, therefore customers who bought directly from factories paid more by 2.7% Sept 2020 compared to Sept 2019.
Specifically in manufacturing sector, Producer prices for manufactured goods only increased by 3.1% in September 2020 compared to a 3.0% increase in August 2020, due to 6.2% rise in Food product prices, Animal and vegetable Oils (19.8%) Tea (6.5%) attributed to less competition.
In addition, the country recorded prices for manufacturing sector in the export market as having increased by 2.5% driven by an increase in export prices of processed food products attributed to increase in prices of processed Coffee and Fish.
In the construction sector, the average input prices including material prices, wage rates and equipment hire rates decreased by 2.35% for September 2020 compared to 2.49% decrease for end of August 2020 due to decreases in the Input prices.
James Ambayo, the Director in charge of business and Industry statistics noted that peculiar decreases in Inputs were registered in; Electrical wires and cables by (-7.74%) PVC & HDPE Pipes by (-13.67%) Diesel by (-21.89%) Bitumen by (-16.01%) Burnt clay bricks & tiles (-10.42%)
However, there were price increases in; Steel bars by 0.01% ,Other iron & steel by 7.36%, Roofing Sheets prices by 0.12%, PVC & HDPE Pipes by 1.62%, Bitumen prices by 0.01% while in the same period, the prices of Lime and Diesel went down by 1.06% and 0.74% respectively.
The principal statistician in charge of energy and infrastructure statistics William Anguyo revealed that the Net Domestic supply of cement increased by 6.58% in September 2020 compared to August 2020 which was mainly due to an increase in Cement production locally by 7.59% while in the same period cement Exports increased by 15.09 %.