Uzbekistan’s inflation rate reached 0.93% in April, as reported by the Statistics Agency under the President.

This figure surpasses that of April 2023 (0.82%) but remains lower than the rates observed in the same months from 2020 to 2022.

On an annual basis (by April 2023), inflation increased to 8.08% after a gradual decline since October of the previous year, when it stood at 7.98% in March.

In April, food prices saw a modest average increase of 0.4%, marking the lowest in the last five years. Non-food prices rose by 1%, while the cost of paid services experienced a substantial 1.8% hike, reaching a record high for April over the past five years.

According to the Statistics Agency, egg prices declined further by an average of 11.3%. Sugar prices increased by an additional 3.3% (0.2% over the year), while milk prices rose by 1.8% (11% annually). Flour prices increased by 0.4% (4.1% annually), rice by 0.9% (12.1% annually), and beef and lamb by 0.4% (6.6% annually). Sunflower oil prices also saw a 0.4% rise, while registering a decrease of 13.6% over the year.

In April, prices for various fruits and vegetables increased, with pumpkin leading the increase at 17.4%, followed by bananas at 9.9%, tangerines at 7.4%, lemons at 6.9%, beets at 6%, cabbage at 3.9%, and potatoes at 1.6%. The price of onions decreased by 1.7%, bell peppers by 2.1%, and cucumbers saw a drop of 24.8%.

On an annual basis, onions saw a decrease in price by 53.7%, carrots by 28.5%, and cabbage by 20.5%.

Meanwhile, alcoholic beverages experienced a further 1% price increase, tobacco products rose by 0.8%, and cigarettes by 0.7%.

The previous month witnessed a rise in heating services fees (+12.1% over a month) and hot water supply fees (+12.5%) for the population. This increase is attributed to the removal of zero VAT rates on these services nationwide, as well as tariff hikes in the Surkhandarya region and Tashkent.

Furthermore, excluding Navoi and Surkhandarya regions, all regions of the country saw a 12% increase in the price of cold water supply and sewerage services, also related to the elimination of VAT exemptions. In Navoi and Surkhandarya regions alongside the tax introduction, tariffs increased by 52.8% and 65.5%, respectively.

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Consequently, water supply and other public utilities saw an average increase of 14.6%.

Price adjustments for hot and cold water supply, sewerage, heating services, and garbage disposal collectively contributed 0.35 percentage points to the month’s inflation.

Additionally, services related to electricity, gas, and other fuels experienced a 1.4% increase.

The uptick in healthcare sector prices since April can be attributed to the imposition of VAT on certain goods and services that were previously taxed at a zero rate. Starting April 1, VAT is applied to the turnover of medical and veterinary services, medicines, veterinary products, and related items.

This policy shift resulted in an average 9.5% increase in medicines and medical product prices, while outpatient and inpatient treatment services rose by 2.7%.

According to the Statistics Agency, railway transportation services saw an increase in cost in April 2024, attributed to a 27% rise in ticket prices for suburban trains nationwide. Air travel to international destinations registered a 2% average price reduction for the month, while domestic flights decreased by 1.2%, a trend influenced by currency fluctuations.

In April, gasoline prices dropped by 1.8% (although witnessing a 27.6% increase annually), propane declined by 10.4%, and methane saw a 3.1% price hike (22.4% annually).

Competitive dynamics in the mobile device market led to slight reductions in prices for smartphones and cell phones. Additionally, shifts in tariff policies by certain mobile operators, aimed at expanding service volumes, impacted the calculated unit cost of services for the population, resulting in a decrease of 2.9%, as per the report.