Inflation rate rises to 6.9 per cent as food and electricity prices soar

Unga packets on display at Naivas Supermarket. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kenya’s cost of living rose to 6.9 per cent in October, up from 6.8 per cent in September, reversing a downward trend that had lasted for several months, according to a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

The report, released on Wednesday, November 1, attributed the increase in the inflation rate to the rise in prices of commodities such as food and electricity.

“The overall inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 6.9 per cent in October 2023. During this month, all sectors continued to show price rises,” KNBS stated.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages, which account for the largest share of the CPI basket, increased by 1.3 per cent in the last month.

This was mainly influenced by the increase in prices of some food items such as potatoes and tomatoes, which rose by 9.6 and 5.4 per cent respectively.

On the other hand, sifted and fortified maize flour decreased by 4.1 and 3.2 per cent respectively during the same period.

Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels also went up by 1.9 per cent mainly due to the increase in the prices of gas and electricity.

The report also showed that the overall year-to-year inflation rate decreased by 2.7 per cent from 9.6 per cent between October 2022 and October 2023.

However, some commodities recorded significant price increases over the past year, such as electricity, which went up by 44.1 per cent in 50 kilowatts.

Cooking gas, on the contrary, went down by 2.7 per cent in one year.

The inflation rate started to decline in June this year and maintained the trajectory until September.

But this changed in the last month as KNBS said it was due to an increase in fuel prices, which are at their highest levels; Sh217 for petrol and Sh205 for diesel.

The increase in fuel prices has a ripple effect on the cost of living as it affects transport and production costs.

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