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Inflation edges up to 5.7 percent on higher food prices

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Inflation edges up to 5.7 percent on higher food prices

Spikes in prices of maize flour, beans and green grams among other foodstuffs
Spikes in prices of maize flour, beans and green grams among other foodstuffs pushed inflation to 5.7 percent in June. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Spikes in prices of maize flour, beans and green grams among other foodstuffs pushed inflation to 5.7 percent in June, wiping out the temporary benefits on the cost of living brought about by recent rainfall.

This is an increase from the 5.49 percent recorded last month. Inflation measures the cost of living and an increase means that consumers used more money to buy the same quantities of foods than they did the previous period and this takes away their spending power.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said though prices of vegetables among them spinach, kales and tomatoes recorded decreases of 2.42, 6.87 and 0.36 percent respectively on account of good weather, prices of maize grain, beans, green grams and sifted maize flour increased during the same month.

A kilogram of loose maize grain was retailing at an average price of Sh48.70 in June, up from Sh48.45 in May. On its part, a kilo of beans was selling at Sh120.26, up from Sh118.33 last month.

“Over the same period, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel’s index increased by 0.05 per cent as a result of higher costs of house rents which outweighed notable drops in the cost of electricity and kerosene,” KNBS director general Zachary Mwangi said in a statement.

Mwangi said in that regard, the cost of consumption of 50 Kwh and 200 Kwh of electricity decreased by 0.91 per cent and 0.64 per cent respectively.

“The transport index increased by 0.26 per cent, on account of increase in pump prices of petrol and diesel,” KNBS added.

In June 2019, the food and non-alcoholic index decreased by 1.6 per cent compared to a decline of 0.37 per cent in May.

“This was mainly due to favourable weather conditions which led to increased food production and subsequently to reduced food prices for some commodities,” KNBS said.

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