Food prices hit 13-month high as overall inflation stays in double digits

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett with millers representatives when he announced subsidised maize flour prices. [file, Standard]

The State’s efforts at taming the cost of living seem to have borne little fruit, with food prices now priced at 21.52 per cent higher than they were this time last year.

Latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) further shows that overall inflation for the month of May increased by 0.22 percentage points to 11.7 per cent.

This means for 13 straight months, food prices have been rising, making overall inflation to remain at double digits for the third straight month. The last time inflation was at double digits was in 2012.

Little relief

At this level, it is also the fourth straight month that the figure is staying outside Central Bank of Kenya’s desired range of between 2.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent. The rains that have started pouring in various parts of the country and Government subsidies on maize flour have brought little relief to consumers, with the KNBS basket of goods used in calculating food and non-alcoholic beverage rising in prices by 1.2 per cent.

“There was a significant decline in the prices of sukuma wiki (kales), cabbages, potatoes and spinach mainly due to ongoing rains,” noted KNBS in a statement signed by Director-General Zachary Mwangi. [Patrick Alushula] 

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