NAIROBI, Kenya, March 2 – The cost of living went up in February driven mainly by increases in the food prices particularly the cost of maize flour, sukuma wiki and other seasonal food products.
Statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed that inflation went up from 21.9 percent recorded in January to 25.1 percent in February.
“The food and non alcoholic index, (which contributes 50 percent of the Consumer Price Indices basket) went up by 6.4 percent from 438.19 to 466.09 points,” the Bureau said in a statement.
The average price of a two-kilogram packet of maize flour rose from to Sh78.48 to Sh92. 99 cents during the period under review.
Medical goods and services index also rose by 4.8 percent mainly due increases in the cost of dental services, consultation fees and bed and delivery charges.
On the other hand, month on month inflation, which excludes the food items from the CPI basket decreased from 8.4 percent to 7.9 percent last month.
The increase in inflation is a big blow to the government which has been struggling to keep the cost of living to manageable levels at a time when the economy is on a downturn.
Analysts have however predicted that the inflationary pressures will ease to single digit levels in the second quarter of the year.