Higher food prices drive up inflation

In Summary

• Kenyan households continued to feel the strain on their pockets as inflation rose by 1.60 per cent in March.

• Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows month-on-month inflation rose to 4.35 per cent from 4.14 per cent recorded in February.

Products displayed at a supermarket.
Products displayed at a supermarket.
Image: FILES

Kenyan households continued to feel the strain on their pockets as inflation rose by 1.60 per cent in March.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows month-on-month inflation rose to 4.35 per cent from 4.14 per cent recorded in February.

The increase was mainly attributed to the prevailing drought conditions across major parts of the country resulting in an increase in prices of some items on the food basket.

This saw the food and non-alcoholic index rise 3.30 per cent over the review period. The index also increased by 2.84 per cent during the same period last year.

One kilogram of beans increased over the month to Sh111.31 from Sh109.82 while mango prices increased to Sh121.52 from Sh114.69 per kg.

Kale, popularly known as sukuma wiki, rose to Sh52.99 from Sh47.30 per kg while a kilogramme of capsicums (Pilipili Hoho) rose to Sh146.33 from  Sh126.81 respectively.

“However, prices of some food items were lower in March 2019 compared to March 2018. Maize grain recorded a drop of 33.81 per cent to Sh41.56 from Sh62.78 per kg over the year,” KNBS stated.

 

Similarly, the prices of sifted maize flour, sugar and tomatoes were lower by 30.55, 10.57 and 10.80 per cent, respectively.

The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index, decreased by 0.06 percentage points in March compared to February 2019.

“This resulted from lower cost of electricity which outweighed increase in house rents and cooking fuels. Transport index increased by 0.42 percentage points, mainly as a result of increases in pump prices of petrol and diesel,” KNBS added.

This change takes a turn from previous figures recorded in past months. In February, inflation went down by 82 basis points from January to settle at 4.14 per cent on the back of falling food prices.