Kenya’s Inflation Hits 7-month High at 5.46%

The rate of inflation has been on the rise since the fourth quarter of 2020, driven by rising food and international oil prices, reaching 5.9 percent in May 2021.

A fruit seller in one of Kenya's informal markets

Kenya’s headline inflation rate hit a 7-month high of 5.46% from 4.84 in October, the statistics body said on Monday.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics attributed the increase to higher food costs with year-on-year food inflation standing at 6.09%  in November 2020.

“This was a net effect of increase in prices of several food items which outweighed decreases in prices of others. Prices of beef with bones, wheat flour-white and tomatoes increased by 0.99, 0.69, and 0.67 percent, respectively.”

Government data also showed that the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ Index, increased by 0.07 percent in the month due to increases in the cost of some cooking fuels and household utilities.

There were however some notable decreases in the cost of kerosene and electricity.

Over the same period, the Transport Index decreased by 0.15 percent mainly on account of a decrease in pump prices of diesel and petrol.

The Central Bank of Kenya said inflation remains well anchored is expected to remain within the target range in the near term, supported by lower food prices and muted demand pressures.

“Despite an upward adjustment in inflation in the month of October, higher inflation is unlikely to be a concern for the central bank, for now, owing to easing food and demand-side pressures which should help anchor inflation expectations,” says NCBA Market Analysts.