Inflation in Kenya persisted at a steady rate of 9.2pc in March, primarily due to the surging prices of essential food items such as cabbages, Irish potatoes, carrots and Sukuma wiki, coupled with the higher cost of electricity. The latest figures released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) reveal that despite reductions in the prices of cooking oil, onions and tomatoes, the overall inflation rate remained unchanged.
For seven consecutive months, inflation has remained above the medium-term target higher band of 7.5pc. Food items bear the brunt of this price rise, accounting for 32.9pc of the sampled goods, which experienced a 1.6pc month-on-month increase. Cabbage, carrots, Irish potatoes, Sukuma Wiki, maize flour, beans, sugar and beef saw their prices soar, whereas only tomatoes, cooking oil and onions recorded price decreases.
The cost of electricity witnessed an 11.6pc hike for those consuming up to 50 kilowatts and a 9pc increase for those using up to 200 kilowatts. Similarly, the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels index surged 60 basis points due to higher cooking gas expenses, which saw a 1.2pc increment.
Shockingly, the survey conducted by the statistics bureau uncovered that the average rent for a single room rose by 0.4pc to Ksh 3,920. Also, the transport index registered a 0.3pc increase due to the marginal mid-month escalation in the pump price of super petrol.