Kenya’s overall inflation rate decreased to 4.14%, the lowest in six months as the prices of food commodities and transport eased, the statistics bureau said on Thursday.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said: “The cost of several foodstuffs in February 2019 was much lower compared to the same period of the previous year-These lower prices contributed to a relatively low overall inflation in February 2019.”
For instance, maize grain recorded a drop of 41.0% from Ksh.60.37 per kilogramme in February 2018 to Ksh.35.63 in February 2019. Similarly, the prices of sifted maize flour, spinach and tomatoes declined by 30.68, 20.66 and 16.63%, respectively.
The Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ Index, increased by 0.12% in February compared to January 2019. This resulted from higher cost of some house rents and some cooking fuels.
“Looking ahead, the balance of risk remains largely tilted to the downside, thanks to favourable weather and mute demand pressures. Even then, the market will remain wary of the trajectory in oil prices which should filter through from April. Year-to-date, oil prices have risen by 13.8%. Certainly, the moderation in inflation provides some comfort for the central bank to continue running a growth-oriented policy. Even then, we do not expect any policy shifts this year, given the uncertainty over credit markets’ response to any shifts in the CBR,” according to CBA Inflation Reaction.