Higher food, fuel prices push March inflation rate to 5.56pc

inflation

Kenya’s month-on-month inflation rate has risen to 5.56% in March from 5.08% recorded in February 2022 owing to increases in food and fuel prices.

Latest data published on Thursday by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicate that during the month, retail prices of essential commodities such as cooking oil, wheat flour, fuel and cooking gas shot up sharply despite the cost of electricity remaining unchanged.

The average price of a 2kg wheat flower increased 4.47% between February and March to stand at Kshs. 151.43 from Kshs. 144.95 signalling the rising cost of living that Kenyans face.

Similarly, the average price of a 1 litre of cooking oil surged 6.5% to stand at Kshs. 332.37 6.50 from Kshs. 312.09.

The increase in prices of key food items saw the food and non-alcoholic beverages index increase to 1.49% in March.

“The month-to-month Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Index increased by 1.49% between February 2022 and March 2022. This was mainly attributed to increase in prices of most of the food items, which outweighed the decrease in prices of others,” said KNBS.

The average retail price of cooking gas also registered a surge with the price of a 13kg gas cylinder rising 7.76% to stand at Kshs. 2,866.20 from 2,659.70 recorded in February.

While diesel and petrol prices recorded increases, kerosene and electricity prices remained unchanged.

“Transport Index increased by 0.63% between February 2022 and March 2022. This was mainly attributed to increase in prices of petrol and diesel that rose by 3.83% and 4.49%, respectively,” added KNBS.

On a year-on-year basis, retail prices of wheat flour, cooking oil, and LPG in March have now risen 17.68%, 35.15% and 38.18% respectively forcing Kenyans to dig deeper into their pockets in order to meet their needs.

The rise in cooking oil, wheat and fuel is partly attributed to the Russia-Ukraine war which has driven commodity prices higher as the two are major suppliers of the three commodities.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages index was up 9.92%, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance index 6.44%, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels index 4.91% and transport index up 3.66% between March 2021 and March 2022.

  

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