NAIROBI Kenya, Jan 31 – Kenya’s cost of living declined slightly in January following a drop in the cost of some food items offering a slight relief to Kenyans.
Monthly inflation data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the country’s overall rate of inflation in January stood at 9.0 per cent compared to 9.1 per cent in December.
“The rise in inflation was largely due to an increase in prices of commodities under food and non-alcoholic beverages (12.8 per cent); transport (13.1 per cent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (7.3 per cent) between January 2022 and January 2023,” KNBS said.
Despite the slight ease, the cost of living is still above the government’s highest target of 7.5 per cent.
In the month, the prices of commodities under furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance recorded a 9.3 per cent increase.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the percentage change in the price of a basket of goods and services consumed by households, increased by 0.2 per cent from an index of 128.99 in December 2022 to 129.29 in January 2023.
Further, the month-to-month Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Index increased by 0.2 per cent between December 2022 and January 2023.
Relative to December 2022 prices of mangoes, irish potatoes, cowpeas dropped by 4.7, 3.8, and 3.6 respectively.
A kilo of irish potatoes retailed at Sh 91.02 from Sh94.57 in December while a kilo of cowpeas retailed at Sh 131.41 from Sh 136.36.
During the same period prices of tomatoes, beans and beef with bones increased by 8.1, 1.7, 0.8 percent respectively.
During the same period, prices of Tomatoes, beans, and beef increased by 5.6 per cent and 26.7 per cent, 6.3 percent respectively.
The housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels’ Index, increased by 0.3 per cent between December 2022 and January 2023 due to increase in prices of 50 kilowatts and 200 kilowatts electricity units, by 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively.
“Transport Index remained the same between 2022 December and January 2023 due to unchanged fuel prices in January 2023.”
The Education index increased by 0.9 per cent between December 2022 and January 2023 due to increase in tuition fees for pre-primary, primary and secondary in the same period.
Global inflation, the war in Ukraine, a weakening shilling, and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic have all had knock-on effects on Kenya.
These have been compounded by issues such as budget deficits and poor financial governance.