September inflation falls to 17-month low

September inflation falls to 17-month low
A customer unpacks products from a trolley at the counter inside a supermarket in Nairobi, Kenya April 8, 2019. REUTERS

Growth in consumer prices across the month of September grew at the slowest pace in 17 months as the inflation rate fell to 3.83 percent over the period.

According to fresh data from the Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KNBS) the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) came down by 0.11 percent as cooling food prices continued to hold off further price increments.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages index which carries a weighted 36 percent impact on overall inflation came down by 0.4 percent as the price of essentials such as maize grain and potatoes eased further across September.

The inflation cooldown during the month was further anchored on an a marginal upturn in petroleum products.

September’s mid-month review of maximum pump prices by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) saw kerosene prices fall by an average 3.2 percent even as petrol and diesel prices surged by an average 0.3 and 2.4 percent.

The onset of the short-rains coupled with the start to the harvesting season is set to further guide the recovery of food prices, keeping inflation in check.

Nevertheless, volatility in the international crude market is set to remain an ongoing concerns as tensions in the oil rich Gulf remain elevated.

The price of Murban per barrel for instance peaked beyond Ksh.7267 ($70) in mid September in the aftermath of twin attacks to Saudi Arabia’s key petroleum installations knocking out five percent of the world’s oil output.

Even so, crude prices have witnessed a reversal in recent weeks as the ongoing escalation of trade war sentiments quells overall demand.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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