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Inflation eases further in May

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – Inflation is down to 12.22 percent for the month of May, a marginal decrease from last month’s 13.06 percent.

According to latest report on inflation and CPI rates by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the significant rises in the prices of maize flour, maize grain and wheat flour seen last month did not affect May’s overall food index.

The Food and Non Alcoholic drinks’ index fell by 0.18 percent between April and May, accounting for 36.04 percent of CPI.

The decrease was mainly due to drops in prices of some food products such as sukuma wiki, cabbage, spinach, onions and oranges in May compared to April.

Higher fuel costs, public transport fares and taxi charges saw the transport index rise by 0.79 percent from last month.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) raised fuel prices by Sh2.63 to Sh121.13 cents for Super petrol last month.

The Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other fuels’ index increased by 0.22 percent from April reflected primarily in the rise in the prices of firewood, charcoal and house rents.

Electricity and cooking gas prices however declined by six percent and 0.4 percent respectively, with the average cost of consuming 200 units of electricity declining from Sh3,494 in April to Sh3,286 in May.

The Central Bank has an inflation rate target of nine percent to be achieved by next month; however, analysts expect single digit rates by the fourth quarter of this year.

With this recent decline in inflation, all eyes will be on the Monetary Policy Committee meeting set for next week on its decision on the Central Bank Rate that has remained at 18 percent for the last five months.

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