By Ronald Owili
Kenya’s rate of inflation marginally increased by 0.08% to 6.34 percent in September up from 6.26 percent in August.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics attributes this increase to a rise in some food prices which outweighed the decreases. During the same period, Kenyans also enjoyed cheaper prices in cooking gas as well as a reduction in the cost of fuel.
The rate of inflation in Kenya continues to be within the government medium target of between 2.5 percent and 7.5 percent.
This was not the case between December and January this year where inflation was highest at 8.01%, low prices of fuel has helped ease the consumer price index which is used in monitoring of consumer prices.
The rise was mainly driven by the food and non-alcoholic index which increased by 0.55% as prices of more food items increased.
For instance, Kenyans paid Ksh 3.6 more for a kilogram of sugar on average in September compared to August, Ksh 4.8 more for a kilogram of potatoes and Ksh 1.7 more for a kilogram of maize grain.
Though housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel index increased marginally by 0.05%, the cost of electricity remained unchanged as Kenyans continue to benefit from cheap global oil prices which have seen kerosene and cooking gas decrease by 5.3% and 2.4% respectively.
A litre of kerosene now costs Ksh 5.3 less compared to last month, while motorists now pay Ksh 2.4 more for a litre of diesel and Ksh 3.9 less for a litre of petrol.
13 kilogram cooking gas now costs Ksh 2.4 less. This has also seen the transport index record a minimal decrease of 0.30% compared to August as pump prices fall.
Economic analysts had earlier indicated that the capping of interest rates could dampen the government’s efforts to contain inflation as consumers borrow heavily for consumption purposes.