Higher food, transport costs pushes April inflation to 5.62 percent


Higher food, transport costs pushes April inflation to 5.62 percent
A customer unpacks products from a trolley at the counter inside a supermarket in Nairobi, Kenya April 8, 2019. REUTERS

In Summary

  • The increase in food prices was mainly registered in the costs such as loose maize-grain, sukumawiki, onions, irish potatoes and carrots.
  • At the same time, the transport index rose by 1.32 percent from resulting higher costs in matatu and taxi fares which were enough to dissolve notable decreases in the cost of petrol and diesel by 16.32 percent and 4.29 percent.
  • The pressure on consumer spending is expected to weigh hard on Kenyan pockets in the midst of depreciating incomes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic hit on economic activity.

The inflation rate in April rose marginally to 5.62 percent up from 5.51 percent in March as higher food, transport costs increased pressure on consumer spending.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) monthly consumer price index (CPI) data, the food and non-alcoholic drink’s index rose by a sharp 1.77 percent with the monthly food inflation rate alone standing at 11.58 percent.

“The increase was mainly attributed to increase in prices of some food items such as loose maize-grain, sukumawiki, onions, Irish potatoes and carrots,” KNBS noted in the statement issued Thursday.

The cost of a kilogram of maize in loose grain form surged by four percent to Ksh.51,20 while a kilo of onions rose by 6.9 percent to Ksh.118.20.

Greater energy costs during the month including respective costs to electricity and cooking gas lifted the housing index by 0.41 percent offsetting decreases registered in the costing of kerosene.

At the same time, the transport index rose by 1.32 percent from resulting higher costs in matatu and taxi fares which were enough to dissolve notable decreases in the cost of petrol and diesel by 16.32 percent and 4.29 percent midway through April.

March inflation rate was readjusted to 5.51 percent from an initial 6.06 percent as KNBS continues to adjust to its revised consumer price indexing which now incorporates 50 data collection zones.

The pressure on consumer spending is expected to weigh hard on Kenyan pockets amid depreciating incomes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic effects on economic activity.

The rate of inflation however remains contained in the government’s target band of 2.5 to 7.5 percent.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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