Kenyans have more reason to smile as the cost of living has gradually gone down for the first two months of 2019 thus pushing inflation figures to an eight-month low as reported by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Drop in most food commodities helped push down the cost of living during the month of February by 0.82 percent to 4.14percent.
Between January and February 2019, Food and Non-Alcoholic Drinks’ Index increased by 1.70 percent. The cost of several foodstuffs was much lower in February compared to the same period of the previous year.
For instance, maize grain recorded a drop of 41.0 percent from 60.37 shillings per kilogram in February 2018 to 35.63 shillingsin February 2019.
Similarly, the prices of sifted maize flour, spinach and tomatoes declined by 30.68, 20.66 and 16.63 percent, respectively. These lower prices contributed to a relatively low overall inflation inthe month of February.
This is largely credited for the relatively low overall inflation recorded over the month even as the cost of several cooking and lighting fuels went up significantly over the same period of time.
According to KNBS, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ Index, increased by 0.12 percent in February compared to January which was attributed to higher cost of some house rents and some cooking fuels.
“Partly contributing to the increase were prices of domestic consumption of electricity which increased by 2.48 and 1.70 percent for 50 Kwh and 200 KWh, respectively on account of increase in fuel cost and inflation adjustment charges,” said KNBS in a statement.
The cost of 4 kilograms of charcoal recorded a 66 percent increase from 84 shillings recorded in February 2018 to 141shillings last month. This was attributed to constrained supply following the Government’s moratorium on logging, across the country, introduced in February last year.
The Transport Index decreased by 0.50 percent, mainly as a result of significant decreases in pump prices of petrol and diesel.