A pickup loaded with fresh green maize at Kakamega town on June 19, 2023. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The increase in prices of products eased this month even as prices of some foodstuffs dropped. However, the cost of other goods remained high.

The rate of inflation – or the general increase in the cost of goods – dropped to 6.6 per cent in December from 6.8 per cent in November, according to data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

And while the recent rains resulted in a reduction in the cost of some food commodities, the data by KNBS showed that many other goods and services, including food items, remained high.

In November, the inflation rate stood at 6.8 per cent. When compared to last year’s December figure of 9.1 per cent, the inflation rate has dropped 2.5 per cent. This reduction over the year has been contributed mainly by the drop in maize prices, which have softened by 14.9 per cent.

According to the data; carrots, sugar and tomatoes are the three main food items that have experienced the highest increase in retail prices over the year from December 2022.

A kilogram (kg) of carrots went up 47.7 per cent, a kilo of sugar increased by 35.4 per cent while a kilo of tomatoes went up 27.2 per cent.

A kilo of mutton increased by 18.4 per cent, sifted maize flour by 14.9 per cent while a two-kilo packet of fortified maize flour by 14.4 per cent.

A kilo of mangoes rose by 10.3 per cent, kale (sukuma wiki) by 5.5 per cent, potatoes by 4.2 per cent, fresh unpacketed cow milk (a litre) by 2.8 per cent and a kilo of cabbages by 2.5 per cent.

Food items that have realised a drop over the year are a two-kilo packet of wheat flour which dropped by 4.5 per cent, a one-kilo of loose maize flour down by eight per cent, a one-kg loose maize grain down by 9.1 per cent, a two-kg packet of fortified maize flour down by 14.4 per cent.

For non-food items in the consumer price index (CPI) basket, electricity (50 Kilowatts) went up 36.4 per cent and 200 kilowatts by 27.7 per cent.

A litre of diesel went up 24.1 per cent and kerosene by 36.0 per cent. Petrol prices went up 19.6 per cent, house rent for a single room shot 4.2 per cent.

The rate of inflation has steadily been on the decline this year, dropping from a high of 9.2 per cent in February 2023 to the 6.6 per cent in December.

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