TOUGH TIMES

Price of ugali up by Sh52 as December inflation rise to 5.82%

The increase in food prices saw the country’s December inflation rise to a five-month high and third highest for the year ended yesterday

In Summary
  • The increase in food prices saw the country’s December inflation rise to a five-month high and third highest for the year ended yesterday
  • Transport costs rose by 2.1per cent despite a drop in fuel prices
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The price of a 2- kilo packet of maize flour rose by a whopping Sh52 last month compared to the corresponding month in 2018, illustrating the rising cost of living in Kenya.

The monthly inflation data released yesterday by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the cost of living rose to a five-month high in December, with a 2-kilo packet of maize flour retailing at Sh131.77 compared to Sh107.68 same period in 2018.

The increase in food prices saw the country’s December inflation rise to a five-month high and third highest for the year ended yesterday to hit 5.82 per cent compared to 5.56 per cent recorded in November.

The month had also the third-highest Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the year, with consumers forced to part with an average of Sh204.77 for basic commodities in the food basket compared to Sh202.94 in November.

In April and May, consumers paid Sh205.90 and Sh205.77 to purchase commodities in the food basket.

Kenya recorded the highest inflation for the year in April when it hit 6.58 per cent, followed by July’s 6.27 per cent.

According to KNBS, the food and non-alcoholic drinks index increased by 1.46 per cent from November to December 2019 due to the rise in prices for some foodstuffs outweighing the decrease recorded in others.

''High increases of vegetables were recorded despite ongoing heavy rainfall with kale (sukuma wiki), tomatoes, spinach and onions increasing by 5.6, 7.8, 9.1 and 5.1 per cent respectively. However, during the same period, prices of unpacked milk and mangoes dropped,’’ KNBS said.

Other foodstuffs whose prices skyrocketed during the period under review include a kilo of beans that retailed at Sh124.95 compared to Sh123.08 in November and Sh16.03 high a year earlier.

Although the cost of sugar rose between November to December, with a kilo retailing at Sh108.49 last month compared to Sh104.19 the previous month, the price was 13.35 per cent lower compared to the same period in 2018 when it retailed at Sh125.20.

The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index, increased marginally due to the high prices of charcoal as the government extended the ban on logging. However, power cost dropped slightly in December compared to November.

According to KNBS’s data, 200 Kwh and 50 Kwh were bought at Sh4,515.68 and Sh778.02 in that order last month compared to Sh4,526.75 and Sh804.12 the previous month.

Despite a decrease in pump prices of diesel and petrol during the month, commuters were forced to dig dipper in pockets to pay for transport costs that increased by 2.1 per cent mainly due to an increase in public transport fares due to high demand as people moved in the wake of Christmas festivities.