The inflation rate for the month of July has hit 4.35 percent as Kenyan households continue to dig deep into their pockets to pay for sugar and fuel.
During the month of June, the inflation rate was at 4.28 percent and was attributed to relatively low food prices and other basic commodities.
Earlier in the week, while setting the Central Bank Rate (CBR) which dropped from 9.50 percent to 9 percent, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), said that it was expecting the inflation to fall within the government’s range and target.
Since the government kicked off the crackdown exercise on illegal sugar, the prices of the commodity skyrocketed, doubling in some areas across the country. Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics for the month of July indicate that the price of sugar increased by 8.56 shillings, approximately 6.66 percent to averagely retail at 137.11 shillings. In some parts of the country such as Bungoma County, a kilogram of sugar rose as high as 195 shillings.
Kenyans have had to also pay through the nose for petrol, diesel, and kerosene after the prices went up, further hitting hard on the inflation. Currently, the price of kerosene is the same as that of diesel after the Treasury CS Henry Rotich imposed 10.30 shillings per liter as excise duty in an effort to curb the adulteration of fuel.
The price of one liter of kerosene is now at 86.69 shillings, 46.4 percent higher than July 2017. The cost of housing, water, electricity and other fuels increased at an index of 0.12 percent in July as compared to 0.52 percent during the month of June.
Food and non-alcoholics index decreased by 2.4 percent. 36 percent of what is used to calculate inflation is based on the prices of food and non-alcoholics.