High cost of living persists as inflation rate falls in December

Traders at the Kangemi open air market in Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The inflation rate in Kenya dropped slightly to 6.6 per cent in December 2023, from 6.8 per cent in November 2023, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

The inflation rate, which measures the average change in prices of goods and services consumed by households, remained high due to an increase in prices of commodities such as transport, housing, water, electricity, fuel, and food.

These items account for over 57 per cent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is used to calculate the inflation rate.

According to KNBS, the transport index increased by 11.7 per cent in the last 12 months (December 2022 - December 2023), mainly due to the higher fuel prices and public transport fares.

The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels index increased by 8.3 per cent in the same period, owing to the higher prices of electricity, kerosene, cooking gas and rent.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by 7.7 per cent in the same period due to the higher prices of some food items such as maize flour, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbages, carrots and milk.

KNBS collects retail prices for the compilation of the CPI every month from selected retail outlets across the country.

Out of the 50 data collection zones, 14 are located in Nairobi while 36 are in other urban areas.

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