INFLATION

Cost of living retains upward trend - KNBS

Although the price of milk, cabbages, and potatoes fell relative to June 2019, they remained well above the July 2018 prices

In Summary

• This is the second time in the past 12 months the cost of living measure has gone beyond the six per cent mark after hitting 6.58 per cent in April

• The prices of sukuma wiki (kales), sugar and onions registered the largest declines of 29.79, 21.28 and 17.49 per cent respectively

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Kenyans are paying more this year for their monthly utility and food bills, cost of living data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows.

Apart from, February when the the Consumer Price Index dropped to 4.14 from 4.70 in January, its has been on an upward trend for the rest of the months 

Latest monthly Kenya National Bureau of Statistics  data shows inflation in July grew to 6.27 per cent compared to 4.35 per cent over the same period last year.

 
 

This is the second time in the past 12 months the cost of living measure has gone beyond the six per cent mark after hitting 6.58 per cent in April.

 

The increase has seen the cost of items such as sifted maize floor- a Kenyan staple- rise 16 per cent to Sh119.89 per 2-kg packet compared to Sh102.50 last July.

Other items on the food basket that have registered a sharp price increase in the last year include potatoes whose cost per kilo has grown 21.66 per cent to Sh73.14 and a kilogramme of carrots which now costs an average Sh77.12. This is a 22.33 per cent jump from Sh60.12 per kilo last July.

A kilogramme of cabbages now costs Sh46.4 compared to Sh40.53 the same period last year.

“Although the price of milk, cabbages, and potatoes fell relative to June 2019, they remained well above the July 2018 prices,” KNBS director general Zachary Mwangi said in the monthly release.

The price of a 500ml packet of milk now averages at Sh57.19, a 10.52 per cent annual increase while the cost of a kilo of beef- with bones has gone up Sh12.82 in the past one year to retail at Sh451.53.

This comes in the wake of a countrywide panic over red meat consumption after an exposé found that supermarkets and other meat vendors were using illegal and harmful chemicals to keep their meat looking fresh for longer to maximise on profits.

 
 

According to data, the cost of 200 and 50Kwh has increased by 15.3 and 20.31 per cent respectively in the past year.

 

Last month the Directorate of Criminal Investigations summoned some 204 Kenya power consumers over irregular postpaid billings.

In a statement, DCI said the individuals and companies were suspected to have been involved in fraud involving millions of shillings lost as a result of the conspiracy.

KNBS data also shows it now costs Sh151.8 more to rent out a single room across the country, now at an average Sh4,496.38.

The government’s decision to impose a 15 per cent tax increment on alcohol and cigarettes saw the alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics index grow by 0.82 percentage points.

According to KNBS data, the price of cigarettes has 9.63 per cent now averaging at Sh137 per pack.

Last month Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index rose by 0.14 percentage points while the transport index increased by 0.22 percentage points.

“This was on account of an increase in the pump price of petrol despite the decrease in the pump price of diesel during the same period,” Mwangi said.

Over the year, the prices of sukuma wiki (kales), sugar and onions registered the largest declines of 29.79, 21.28 and 17.49 per cent respectively.