COST OF LIVING

High food prices drive up November inflation

This is marginally lower than 5.58 per cent reported over the same period last year.

In Summary

•A 2kg pack of sifted maize floor recorded the largest increase of 55.1 per cent to Sh130.77 compared, up from Sh84.32 the same month last year

•The increase in prices of some foodstuffs outweighed the decrease recorded in others

Kiambu market
TRADE: Kiambu market
Image: Stanley Njenga

The cost of living measure hit a four-month high in November driven by higher food prices.

Data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows inflation rose to 5.56 per cent in November from 4.95 per cent the previous month.

“This was due to an increase in prices of some foodstuffs outweighing decrease recorded in respect of others,” KNBS director-general Zachary Mwangi said in the monthly statement.

This is marginally lower than 5.58 per cent reported over the same period last year.

The data shows the price of a 2kg pack of sifted maize floor recorded the largest increase of 55.1 per cent to Sh130.77 compared, up from Sh84.32 the same month last year.

A kilogramme of tomatoes also increased 43.1 per cent to retail at Sh95.78 compared to Sh66.93 last year.

The price of loose maize floor jumped 35.5 per cent year-on-year, selling at Sh56.26 from Sh41.51.

During the review period, the cost of green grams, beans, and charcoal also registered increases of 27.6, 14.1 and seven per cent respectively.

“Between October and November 2019, Food and Non-Alcoholic Drinks Index increased by 0.62 per cent,” Mwangi said.

This superseded price drops of some food items including sugar, kale (sukuma wiki) and potatoes, which saw an 18.2, 16.4 and 8.3 per cent decline in prices over the review period.

Households purchased a kilogramme of sugar at Sh104.19, more than Sh20 lower than they did the same period last year.

The cost of sukuma wiki and potatoes also dropped by Sh7.30 and Sh6.48 to retail at Sh37.32 and Sh71.32 respectively.

During the period, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels Index by 0.29 percentage points.

Mwangi said this was mainly due to the increase in the cost of house rent and cooking fuels over the review period.

“However, during the price of Gas (LPG) decreased by 1.1 per cent,” Mwangi said.

Year-on-year gas prices dropped by 4.2 per cent to retail at Sh2,100.88 per 13kg cylinder, more than Sh90 lower than it cost the same period last year.

Compared to last year, the cost of 50Kwh of electricity increased by Sh46.4 to Sh804.12 while it cost Sh95.2 more to rent a room with rental prices recorded at Sh4,526.75 in November.

Although year-on-year fuel prices dropped, Mwangi said the Transport Index increased by 0.29 percentage points driven by a month-on-month price hike.

Compared to last November, the cost of a litre of kerosene, petrol, and diesel declined by Sh4.72, Sh6.55 and Sh3.87 respectively.