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Inflation in Kenya hits record high of 9.2pc in September, KNBS report

Inflation in Kenya has accelerated to a record high in September amid a continued increase in the cost of food, fuel, and housing.

According to monthly inflation data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the nation’s total inflation rate in September was 9.2%, up from 8.5 percent in August.

For the fourth consecutive month, the government’s target range of 2.5 to 7.5 percent, which is intended to ensure price stability on the domestic market, has not been met.

In a statement, KNBS stated that between September 2021 and September 2022, the prices of commodities under the categories of food and non-alcoholic drinks increased by 15.5%, transportation by 10.2%, and housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels by 7.3%.

In addition, during the review period, the costs of goods under the categories of furnishings, household equipment, and regular household maintenance increased by 10.7%.

According to the most recent data, from an index of 125.58 in August 2022 to 126.73 in September 2022, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which gauges the percentage change in the price of a basket of goods and services purchased by households, climbed by 0.9%.

Between August 2022 and September 2022, the Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Index climbed by 0.3% on a monthly basis.

Prices for beans, aromatic unbroken rice, and loose maize flour grew by 8.4, 3.5, and 2.9% in September 2022 compared to August 2022, respectively.

While the cost of two kilos of unbroken rice increased to Sh534.82 from Sh519.85, the price of a kilo of loose maize flour increased to Sh84.95 from Sh78.38 in August.

Tomato and carrot prices fell by 10.2% and 7.2%, respectively, during the same time frame.

Carrots cost Sh91.48 per kilo while tomatoes were sold at Sh93.64.

According to KNBS, a variety of fast-growing vegetables saw price drops in September as farmers reported abundant harvests following the prolonged rains.

The cost of electricity at 50 and 200 kilowatts rose by 20.9 and 15.3 percent, respectively, between August 2022 and September 2022, contributing to a 2.5% increase in the housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels index.

The rise in the cost of electricity was mainly driven by a 46.7 per cent increase in fuel energy cost. The price of kerosene/paraffin also rose by 14.6 per cent.

Transport Index increased by 3.6 per cent between September 2022 and August 2022. This was mainly attributed to increase in prices of diesel and petrol, which rose by 17.7 per cent and 12.6 per cent, respectively.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) expects overall inflation to remain elevated in the near term, due in part to the scaling down of the Government price support measures, resulting in increases in fuel and electricity prices, the impact of tax measures in the FY 2022/23 Budget, and global inflationary pressures.

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