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Kenya inflation rate rises slightly

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 31- The cost of living in the country rose marginally in December according to figures released on Thursday by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

Statistics show that inflation went up to 5.3 percent from the 5.0 percent recorded in November.

The figures that have been computed using the new geometric mean approach shows that food and non alcoholic drinks index went down by 0.2 percent to 157.96 during the month under review.

"This came about as a result of falls in some food prices slightly outweighing the rises in other food commodities," KNBS said in a statement.

The fall was seen in some food prices such as that of maize flour, tomatoes, maize grains and onions.

The average price of a two kilogram packet of maize flour for instance declined from Sh87.24 in November to Sh82.32 in December.

However, that of beef, English potatoes, fresh milk and beans went up slightly by 1.86 percent, 8.99 percent, 1.74 percent and 2.42 percent respectively.

During the same period, the transport and communication indices and the prices of clothing and footwear also increased by 1.4 and 1.5 percent respectively.

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Kenya switched to the new calculation method in October which is in line with best practice as recommended by the International Labour Organisation and which has been hailed as a true reflection of the current cost of living in the country.

The new rate is currently being used on a trial basis but it is expected to be implemented fully in February next year.

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