Kenya’s annual inflation rate has dropped to 5.39% in the month of January on account of lower prices of electricity, the statistics bureau has said.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicate that prices of 200 kilowatts and 50 kilowatts of electricity reduced by 15.67% and 15.73% respectively between December last year and January 2022 bringing down the rate of inflation from 5.69% recorded in January last year.
The rate of inflation recorded in January was also lower than the inflation rate of 5.73% recorded in December 2021.
Electricity bills have fallen on a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the Ministry of Energy during the Jamhuri Celebration on December 12 last year which targets to reduce power bills by at least 30% March this year.
The directive sought to reduce the power bill to two tranches of 15% each, effectively lowering the local inflation levels.
For instance, the cost of 200 kilowatts of electricity has been reduced from Kes. 5185.96 to Kes. 4373.12 while the price of 50 kilowatts has subsided to Kes. 945.59 to Kes. 796.83.
However, while there were no month-on-month increases in the price of diesel and kerosene, the year-on-year prices skyrocketed.
The price of a litre of kerosene went up by 20.9%, from an average of Kes. 88.07 to Kes. 106.46 while a litre of petrol also shot up by 21%, from Kes. 107.86 to Kes. 130.54.
“The Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ Index, decreased by 0.75% between December 2021 and January 2022. This was mainly attributed to a decrease in the prices of electricity. During the same period, Transport Index decreased by 0.11% as there was no change in prices of petrol and diesel,” said Macdonald Obudho, KNBS Chief Executive Officer.
However, Kenyans continue to feel the burden as pricesIn of key foods continue to climb.
The year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages index went up 8.89% as prices of items such as maize flour, sukuma wiki and cabbage increased.
“Relative to December 2021 inflation, prices of maize flour-sifted, kale-sukuma wiki, spinach and Irish potatoes increased by 6.41%, 5.69%, 5.66% and 3.87% in January 2022, respectively. During the same period, prices of mangoes, tomatoes and carrots decreased by 3.98%, 0.65% and 0.07%, respectively. Prices of food items in January 2022 were relatively high compared with prices of food items recorded in January 2021,” Obudho added.
According to KNBS, 2kg of maize flour now costs Kes. 126.31 compared to Kes. 117.36 in January 2021, an 8.32% increase.