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Inflation drops in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – Kenya’s inflation rate slowed down in the month of January to 4.7 percent from 5.3 recorded in December.

According to figures released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on Monday, the Food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index went down by 0.7 percent from 157.96 points in December to 156.82 points in January.

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

The prices of maize flour, maize grain, onions, sugar and cabbages fell by 3.64, 6.09, 12.51, 2.11 and 7.20 percent, respectively, while those of tea leaves, beef with bones, fresh milk, fresh fish and eggs went up by 30.57, 1.81, 1.23, 5.48 and 5.76 percent, respectively.

At the same time, consumer prices rose by 0.1 percent from 141.9 points to 142.0 points in January 2010.

The average price of a two-kilogram packet of maize flour for instance declined from Sh87.24 to Sh84.07 while that of maize grains similarly fell from Sh35.69 to Sh33.52 in January 2010.

During the period under review, consumer prices rose by 0.1 percent from 141.9 points to 142.0 points in January 2010.

The fuel and power index was up two percent while that of transport and communication increased by 1.4 percent mainly due to increase in price of paraffin, petrol, charcoal and bus fares.

There was also a general rise in the prices of both bottled and traditional beer among other non-food expenditure.

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The figures were computed using the new geometric mean approach, through data collected within the second and third weeks of January from selected retail outlets in 13 urban centers.

The new system has been on a trail basis since October and is expected to take full effect in February brining with it a new Consumer Price Index basket. The reconstitution of the basket could bring inflation figures further down.

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