Inflation rose in October to 4.95 percent on increased prices of foodstuffs, halting two consecutive months of easing cost of living.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data released on Thursday showed that the rise which is from 18-month low of 3.83 percent in September was also driven by rise in prices of cigarettes as new excise duty set in.
“Prices of several foodstuffs were significantly higher during the month under review compared to the prices recorded during the previous month,” said KNBS director general Zachary Mwangi in a statement.
This pushed up the food and non-alcoholic index by 0.48 percent to 252.74. The index carries the highest weight (36.04 percent) in the basket of goods and services used to measure inflation.
Prices of a kilogramme of loose grain maize flour, sifted maize flour and tomatoes increased by 5.82, 4.58 and 4.44 percent respectively.
During the same period, alcohol beverages, tobacco and narcotics index increased by 1.97 percent due to increase in prices of cigarettes. A packet of cigarette was costing Sh147.47 on average, being 7.42 percent higher compared with Sh137.28 in September.
The October figure is within government’s target range of between 2.5 percent and 7.5 percent. Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) expects inflation to remain within the target range in the near term.
CBK governor Patrick Njoroge hinges this mainly on lower food prices due to favourable weather and lower electricity prices reflecting the reduced usage of expensive power sources.