Kenya Inflation

Kenya Inflation Rises to 8.3% Backed by High Food, Fuel Prices.

Kenya’s inflation rate in the month of July posted a rise to hit the highest levels since 2017 touching 8.3 percent from 7.9 percent recorded in June.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) says the increase was due to a rise in the food and nonalcoholic beverages index which surged 15.3 percent in a year to the period under review.

Retail prices for key food items have shot up sharply according to the latest data by KNBS.

According to the bureau, carrots, loose maize grain, and non-aromatic white rice saw their prices rise by 13 percent, 9.7 percent, and 4.2 percent respectively.

Price increments were also noted on beans, green grams, sukuma wiki, beef, and cabbages.

However, on a year-on-year basis, Kenyans have had to pay more for key food items, fuel, and electricity.

For instance, retail prices for wheat flour, maize flour, and cooking oil have risen 46 percent, 29.4 percent, and 46.5 percent respectively.

On the other hand, retail prices for kerosene have shot up 30.5 percent within a year, same as diesel and super petrol whose prices increased 29.8 percent and 25 percent respectively.

Despite cooking gas prices dropping by 3.7 percent between June and July as a result of VAT reduction on LPG, prices of a 13kg cylinder have also gone up 29.5 percent when compared to July last year.

Inflation Stable on Gas VAT Reduction.

As a result of the VAT reduction, a 13kg cylinder was retailing at an average of Kes 3,100.67 in July compared to Kes 3,218.22 in June this year and Kes 2,394.18 in July last year stabilizing inflation.

Even as inflation touches a 5-year high, the government has been forced to roll out a subsidy program on fuel, fertilizer, and maize which the Central Bank of Kenya said will help moderate inflation as it retained the base lending rate at 7.5 percent in its sitting Wednesday.

“Additionally, the recent waiver of import duties and levies on white maize, the subsidy on retail prices of sifted maize flour, and the recent reduction in VAT on LPG will further moderate domestic prices,” he said in a statement Thursday.

Prices of food items are nonetheless expected to ease going into the year backed by cooling international commodity prices and increased harvest from long rains expected in October.

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