18:49 / 11.06.2024
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Rising utility costs stir public concern in Uzbekistan

Both entrepreneurs and the population have increased concerns about the rising cost of utilities. The highest inflation expectations among the population by region were observed in Tashkent city (18.6 percent) and Kashkadarya region (16.5 percent), while the lowest were recorded in Karakalpakstan (11.9 percent) and Jizzakh region (12.1 percent).

Photo: Kun.uz

The Central Bank released information on inflation expectations of the population and business entities for May.

According to the report, the annual inflation expectations of the population amounted to 14 percent, the same as in April.

The population believes that the following factors will influence future price increases:

- the rising cost of utility services (57 percent);
- changes in the exchange rate (49 percent);
- increased prices for fuel and energy (49 percent);
- monopolies and artificial price hikes (30 percent);
- rising transportation costs (28 percent).

In May, the share of respondents who noted the increase in utility service prices as a primary factor that could exert pressure on future prices increased, while the proportion of those considering changes in the exchange rate as a factor declined.

Entrepreneurs' inflationary expectations

According to the results of May, the expectations of respondents among business entities about price growth over the next 12 months amounted to 12.7 percent, which was 0.6 percentage points lower than the previous month.

Business representatives believe that the following factors will affect price increases:

- the rising cost of utility services (55 percent);
- changes in the exchange rate (52 percent);
- increased prices for fuel and energy (43 percent);
- the high tax burden (35 percent);
- rising transportation costs (33 percent).

The share of entrepreneurs who cited the rising cost of utilities and the high tax burden as the main factors that could inflate prices increased, while the weight of those who considered changes in the exchange rate as the main cause of inflation decreased.

Among survey participants, the highest inflationary expectations were observed among those working in the healthcare sector (16.8 percent). The lowest expectations were noted by representatives of the trading sector (10.5 percent). Among business entities, the most pessimistic expectations were in education (14.5 percent), while the most optimistic expectations were in agriculture (11 percent).

Among the regions, the highest inflation expectations were in Tashkent city (18.6 percent) and Kashkadarya region (16.5 percent), while the lowest were in Karakalpakstan (11.9 percent) and Jizzakh region (12.1 percent). Meanwhile, entrepreneurs' expectations were high in Tashkent city (16 percent) and Navoiy region (14.5 percent) and lowest in Karakalpakstan (9.7 percent).

The inflation expectations of the population earning over 5 million UZS and above were above the national average. The inflation expectations of the highest income earners reached 19.9 percent, the highest in the last 1.5 years.

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