Rising cost of food, fuel drive inflation in Kenya into new high

The cost of living for Kenyans went up in March due to roll out of new higher fuel costs and an uptick in the prices of food, latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows.

March inflation increased to 5.9 per cent from 5.78 per cent recorded in February making it the highest cost of living since April last year from tracking the consumer price index (CPI) when inflation peaked at 6.01 per cent.

The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index increased by 0.59 per cent between February and March. This was mainly attributed to increase on the prices of kerosene and electricity by 5.79 per cent and 5.19 per cent, respectively.

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Over the same period, the month to month transport index went up by 1.49 per cent mainly due to a rise in the prices of diesel and petrol by 5.58 per cent and 6.57 per cent, respectively.

The month to month food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index also climbed by 0.35 per cent between February and March.

This food inflation was mainly attributable to an uptick in the prices of some items, which outweighed the decrease in prices of other foods.

The prices of mangoes, green grams and tomatoes increased by 1.97 per cent, 1.58 per cent and 1.58 per cent respectively.

On the other hand, however, the prices of onions, maize grain-loose and fortified maize flour decreased by 2.98 per cent, 1.96 per cent and 1.94 per cent respectively.

The year on year food inflation rose by 6.65 per cent in the 12 months to and March 2021.

The cost of living is set to rise further next month with the cost of fuel at the pump tipped to increase as international crude prices soar.

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