COST OF LIVING

October inflation jumps to 4.8%

This was driven mainly by increases in food prices and cost of transport

In Summary

•Month-on-month food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index increased by 1.14 per cent in October, while year-on-year food inflation increased by 5.76 per cent.

•The jump on inflation comes amid the Covid-19 impact on the economy with households feeling the brunt of the pandemic.

A shop attendant arranges packets of maize flour in a supermarket shelf/
A shop attendant arranges packets of maize flour in a supermarket shelf/
Image: FILE

Overall year-on-year inflation increased to 4.84 in October from 4.2 per cent last month, mainly on a rise in transport and selected food commodity prices.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data released on Friday shows month-on-month food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index increased by 1.14 per cent in October, while year-on-year food inflation increased by 5.76 per cent.

This was contributed by increase in prices of carrots, mutton and wheat flour-white by 0.92, 0.82 and 0.80 per cent, respectively, among other food items.

However, prices of some food items such as cabbages, maize floor-loose and spinach went down by 1.59, 1.13 and 0.91, respectively over the same period.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index increased by 0.94 per cent in October, which was mainly attributed to an increase in cost of cooking fuels.

In this regard, the cost of 200KwH of electricity increased by 3.15 per cent while that of kerosene went up by 0.69 per cent.

The transport index increased by 0.62 per cent over the same period.

“This was mainly due to a rise in the price of petrol by 1.72 per cent, which overweighed the decrease of 1.68 per cent in the price of diesel,” KNBS said.

The indices and inflation rates were generated from data collected through a survey of retail prices that targeted a basket of household consumption goods and services.

The survey was conducted during the second and third weeks of the month, with prices being obtained from selected retail outlets located in 50 data collection zones, 14 of which are in Nairobi and 36 in other urban areas.

The highest cost of living so far, this year, however remains in the month of February when inflation was recorded at 7.17 per cent.

The lowest was last month at 4.20 per cent, the least since the 3.83 per cent reported in the same month last year.

During the month under review, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the percentage change in the price of a basket of goods and services consumed by households, increased by 0.95 per cent from 108.57 in September to 109.60.

The jump on inflation comes amid the Covid-19 impact on the economy, with households feeling the brunt of the pandemic as job losses; pay cuts and low business returns remain a norm.