Petrol prices push up cost of living in May to 12-month high at 5.9 per cent

The rate of change in the cost of living picked up back to a 12-month high of 5.9 per cent in May after falling to 5.8 per cent in April, the latest economic data shows.

The spike in inflation is greatly attributable to rising food and fuel costs by 2.87 per cent during the month, said the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

The rate inflation equals a 12 month high 5.9 per cent posted in March, and the highest rate since April 2020 when inflation stood at six per cent.

In the latest price review, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority reviewed upwards the price of super petrol by Kes3.56 per litre while that of diesel and kerosene remain unchanged for the period May 15 to June 14.

At the moment, the price per litre of super petrol in Nairobi is retailing at about Kes 127 while that of diesel and kerosene is Kes107.66 and Kes 97.85, respectively.

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The increase in the price of super petrol set the stage for increased cost of living and an economic slowdown due to high transportation costs for manufacturers.

KNBS data shows that the month to month food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index went up by 0.32 per cent between April and May.

This food inflation was mainly attributed to the uptick in the prices of some food items, which outweighed the decrease in prices of others.

In the month under review, the price of onion-leeks and bulbs, sukuma wiki (kale) and cabbages surged by 5.03, 3.41 and 3.19 per cent, respectively.

On the other hand, the prices of oranges and Irish potatoes went down by 3.99 per cent and 2.05 per cent, respectively. The year-on-year food inflation rose by 7.02 per cent in the 12 months to May.

The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index decreased by 0.15 per cent between April and May as the prices of charcoal and electricity went down.

In April, the headline inflation decreased to 5.76 per cent from 5.90 per cent in March driven by the lower food and fuel inflation compared to the previous month.

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