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Kenya’s inflation up by 4.95pc, as price of Unga hits Sh145

Kenya’s year-on-year inflation has risen to 4.95 percent, compared to September’s 3.83 percent, on account of the rise in the prices of maize flour, tomatoes, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – Kenya’s year-on-year inflation has risen to 4.95 percent, compared to September’s 3.83 percent, on account of the rise in the prices of some food stuffs and alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) says the index of the alcohol, tobacco and narcotics was the highest riser, going up by 1.97 percent, due to increase in prices of cigarettes, following a hike of excise tax.

Other commodities that influenced the jump in inflation include several foodstuffs, among them maize grain-loose, maize grain-sifted and tomatoes whose indices increased by 5.82, 4.58, 4.44 percent respectively. Currently, maize floor is retailing at Sh145, up from Sh90 earlier this year.

However, the transport index decreased by 0.27 percent mainly due to the decrease in pump prices of diesel and petrol.

Earlier this month, Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), reduced the prices of super petrol and diesel by Sh4.76 and Sh1.08 respectively to retail at Sh108.05 and Sh101.96 respectively.

Despite the rise, the rates are within the government’s preferred band of 2.5-7.5 percent for inflation to maintain price stability in the economy

Last month, the central bank held its benchmark lending rate at 9.0 percent, saying inflation expectations were within the target range.

World Bank, in its latest economic update expects Kenya’s overall macroeconomic environment to remain stable with low inflation and a manageable current account deficit, which should be supportive of the inclusive growth agenda of the government.

“Headline inflation is within the government target range of 52.5 percent, while current account deficit has narrowed significantly due to lower imports, diaspora remittance inflows and improved tourism revenues,” World Bank says.

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