COST OF LIVING

January inflation eases to 5.78% despite increase in food prices

Food and non-alcoholic drinks index increased by 0.39%.

In Summary
  • Year on year inflation rose by more than 100 basis points from 4.7 per cent in January last year, meaning households had a tough start to 2020 than in 2019.
  • A kilo of loose maize and sifted maize flour retailed for Sh51.53 and Sh131.90 in January compared to Sh51.42 and Sh131.77 in December.
A customer picks tomatoes on a shelf in Carrefour Supermarket/ENOS TECHE
A customer picks tomatoes on a shelf in Carrefour Supermarket/ENOS TECHE

The cost of items in the food basket declined marginally in the first month of the year compared to December, but households still paid more for food compared to the same period last year.

In its monthly review, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows inflation dropped slightly to 5.78 per cent down from 5.82 in December.

Even so, the year on year inflation rose by more than 100 basis points from 4.7 per cent in January last year, meaning households had a tough start to 2020 than in 2019.

According to KNBS, food and non-alcoholic drinks index increased by 0.39 per cent between December and January, driven by a rise in prices of some food items outweighing decrease registered in others.

For instance, prices of onions, spinach and carrots increased by 5.25, 4.38 and 3.22 per cent. However, during the same period, prices of green grams and cooking fat dropped by 0.99 and 0.36 per cent.

A kilo of loose maize and sifted maize flour retailed for Sh51.53 and Sh131.90 in January compared to Sh51.42 and Sh131.77 in December.

During the same period, housing, electricity, water, gas and other fuels’ index also increased by 0.45 per cent.

The education index also rose by 1.26 per cent, mostly driven by tuition prices and boarding fees in private institutions.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya