January inflation rises to 6.9 per cent negating declining trend in earlier months

The increase in price of goods rose in January driven by the high cost of electricity, rent and education. The high rate of inflation in January negates the declining trend that had been experienced since October last year.

The inflation rate – or the general increase in the cost of goods – rose to 6.9 per cent in January from 6.6 per cent in December, 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.  

“The overall year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 6.9 per cent, in January 2024. This means that in January 2024, the general price level was 6.9 per cent higher than that of January 2023,” said KNBS in a statement Wednesday.

“This was mainly driven by increases in prices of commodities under Transport (10.6 per cent); Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other fuels (9.7 per cent); and Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (7.9 per cent)between January 2023 and January 2024.”

Among the products that registered a major increase in prices was electricity, whereby households consuming 50 units of electricity per month saw a 13.7 per cent increase in cost to Sh1,579 in January from Sh1,389 in December. The power cost for this cadre of highly subsidised consumers has risen 41 per cent when compared to the price in January last year. 

“The Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ Index increased by 1.6 per cent between December 2023 and January 2024 mainly due increases in prices of 200 kWh and 50 kWh of electricity by 11.4 per cent and 13.7 per cent, respectively mainly due to an increase in price of foreign exchange rate fluctuation adjustment per kWh by 103.1 per cent,” said KNBS, adding that the cost of education also went up., with the cost of private tuition in primary schools going up 5.7 per cent compared to January last year while the cost of exercise books increase 10.5 per cent also compared to January last year.

“The year-on-year inflation for Education Services, which follows a normal seasonal trend, was 2.8 per cent. There was an increase of 1.8 per cent in the indices for Education Services between December 2023 and January 2024, occasioned by a rise in tuition fees.”

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