In December 2023, Uzbekistan recorded an inflation rate of 1.24%, as reported by the Agency of Statistics under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (Statistics Agency).

This figure is slightly higher than December 2022 but remains below levels from previous years (1.23% in December 2022, 1.26% in 2021, 1.55% in 2020, and 1.69% in 2019).

According to the Statistics Agency, the cost of food items increased by an average of 1.3% last month (in at least the past five years). Non-food items saw a 1% rise in prices, and services became 1.5% more expensive, surpassing the figures from the past five years.

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In 2023 (January-December), inflation dropped to 8.77%, marking the lowest rate since 2016 (5.7%). Food products experienced an average price increase of 9.7% for the year (in at least the past five years), while non-food items increased by 7.7% and services rose by 8.7%.

According to the agency, nearly all essential food items became more affordable in December. Eggs, after a prolonged price increase, decreased by an average of 0.3% (compared to +10.5% in October and +2.9% in November). Sugar declined by 0.8%, sunflower oil by 1.2%, wheat flour by 0.1%, rice and rice sieve by 0.4%, beef by 0.2%, and mutton by 0.3%. Milk saw a 0.4% price increase.

At the same time, over the year rice became more expensive by 38.7%, beef and mutton by 9.3%, milk by 13.3%, eggs by 11.7%, and sugar by 11%. Prices for flour decreased by 1.1%, and oil dropped by 17.8%.

Among fruits and vegetables last month, eggplants experienced the highest price increase, rising by 63.2%. Tomatoes followed with a 59% increase, bell peppers by 58.2%, cucumbers by 50.7%, pomegranates by 17.1%, and potatoes by 1.3%.

There was a price increase in bananas by 3.4%, onions by 3.6%, carrots by 6.5%, lemons by 6.6%, cabbage by 6.7%, and tangerines by 21.9%.

Over the year, prices for pomegranates tripled, lemons increased by 2.3 times, tomatoes rose by 1.4 times, bananas by 12.7%, tangerines by 10.9%, and cucumbers and cabbage by 6.7%. Potatoes became 14.7% cheaper, carrots dropped by 15.5%, onions by 40.7%, bell peppers by 43.2% and eggplants by 44.3%.

Alcohol prices experienced a 0.8% increase over the month (9.6% over the year), while tobacco products rose by 1.4% (12.4%).

Clothing prices, on average, increased by 1.4% (6.3%) and shoes rose by 1.5% (5.9%).

Previously, kengashes (councils) have approved an increase in tariffs for cold water supply and sewerage services in Tashkent, Kashkadarya, and Syrdarya oblasts. Considering the share of these regions in the structure of total consumer expenditures, the inflation for these services in the republic increased by an average of 18.1% in a month. Overall, during the year, prices for water and sewerage in Uzbekistan increased by an average of 65%.

Housing rents increased by only 7.4% in 2023, with a 2.5% increase in December, following a significant rise in 2022.

Gasoline prices increased in December 2023 across all regions; increased by 1.3% to 7.1% and by 19.1% increase over the year. Propane saw a more significant increase than gasoline, rising by 5.1% in December and 29.4% over the entire year. According to the StatAgency, methane prices remained unchanged in December, but rose by 22.4% over the year.

Cab services experienced a 1.7% increase over a month (13.2% over the year), railroad transportation rose by 0.8% (32.4%), and air travel increased by 2.3% (20.7%).

The cost of goods transportation services also rose by 0.8% (11.6%), driven by higher fuel costs.

In the food sector, ready-made food in cafés saw a 19.3% price increase last year, in canteens the increase amounted to 20.2%. Services of hotels and inns became more expensive by 17.8%, with recreation centers experiencing a substantial 26.3% upgrowth in prices.

Notably, services for money transfers increased by 9.8% over the year, money transfers through applications rose by 7%, and bank services went up by 7.9%.