- The cost of food and beverages went up by 13.4 per cent compared to 11 per cent the previous month.
- The apex bank raised the base lending rate by 75 basis points this week as a way of easing the cost of living.
Increasing food prices in Kenya have continued to put households under pressure and raise the cost of living, with new data indicating that inflation remained unchanged at 9.2 per cent in March.
The cost of food and beverages went up to 13.4 per cent compared to 11 per cent the previous month.
Housing, water, electricity, and gas rose by 7.5 percent while of transport went up to 12.6 per cent in just one year.
On Friday, the data agency said food commodities contributed greatly to the high inflation, reflecting the pain Kenyans are enduring.
The KNBS CPI showed cabbages, carrots and cabbage were among the food items whose prices rose by the highest rates.
According to the data, the price of the three items went up by 8.9,8.5 and eight per cent respectively.
Prices of basic foodstuffs like maize flour, sugar and Sukuma Wiki (kale) rose by 25.6 per cent, 18.4 percent and 32.9 per cent respectively as effects of the prolonged drought and importation challenges due to the strong dollar kicked in.
Although vegetable prices rose, tomato prices dropped marginally to Sh113.12 per kilo compared to Sh113.47 the previous month.
Households also felt pain refilling their cooking gas, whose price increased by 9.5 per cent year on year, and so did that of electricity which rose by nine per cent compared to February.
The 9.2 per cent inflation rate remains the third highest rate recorded since last year when Kenyans started feeling the heat of high commodity prices; and is a return to the red zone.
The inflation had eased from 9.1 per cent in December 2022 to nine per cent in January 2023, after five-year highs of 9.5 per cent in November and 9.6 per cent in October.
On Thursday, the Central Bank of Kenya exhumed confidence that the high cost of living will ease in the coming months.
The apex bank raised the base lending rate by 75 basis points this week as a way of easing the cost of living.
Apex banks globally use the interest rates as either a gas pedal or a brake on the economy when needed.
They set the short-term borrowing rate for commercial banks, and the banks pass it along to consumers and businesses.
With inflation running high, they can raise interest rates and use that to pump the brakes on the economy in an effort to get inflation under control.