Inflation hits a 5-year high of 9.6 per cent due to high commodity prices

High prices for food, transportation, and household goods have driven up inflation in the country to a 5.4-year high of 9.6%, underscoring the suffering households continue to experience as the cost of living rises.

According to the most recent data on commodity prices from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), consumers continue to bear the largest burden from food, with its 12-month inflation rising from 15.5 percent in September to 15.8 percent in October.

Irish potatoes, sugar, beans, and Sukuma Wiki prices all increased significantly in October, worsening the nation’s food inflation.

According to KNBS, between September and October, the average price for a kilo of potatoes increased from KES 80.69 to KES 90.78, while the price for a kilo of sugar increased by KES 16.6 to hit KES 154.95, a 12% increase.

Sukuma Wiki increased from KES 57.93 to KES 60.13, while the cost of a kilo of beans increased by 7.5% to KES 161.13.

“Relative to September 2022, prices of potatoes (irish), sugar and beans increased by 12.5, 12 and 7.5 per cent respectively in October 2022,” KNBS stated.

FollowingPresident William Ruto’s government order on the suspension of some subsidies, prices of commodities started to rise.

As a result, prices for fuel, electricity, and related goods in all sectors have increased for Kenyans.

The inflation rate in August was the highest since June 2017 when it hit 9.21 percent.

The country’s inflation has exceeded the Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) 7.5 percent ceiling for the fifth consecutive month, highlighting the hardships Kenyan households continue to face even as the situation is predicted to get worse as a result of this year’s poor rains and subpar agricultural performance.

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