Cost of living soars again with August inflation at 6.6%

Cost of living soars again with August inflation at 6.6%

The cost of living has soared again as the rate of inflation climbs to 6.57 per cent in August according to new data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

This even as the statistics agency revised July inflation up to 6.55 per cent from 6.44 per cent previously.

KNBS has not provided an immediate explanation for the revision.

The negligible change in the inflation rate between August and July revised numbers is however attributable to marginal increases in food and energy costs.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages index has for instance risen by 0.46 per cent while that covering housing, water electricity, gas and other fuels has jumped by 0.32 per cent.

Among the food commodities to have registered higher prices in the past month include spinach, with a kilogram now selling at an average Ksh.66.03 from Ksh.64.07 in July.

The price of a 13 kilogram LPG cylinder has also shot up to an average of Ksh.2420.68 from Ksh.2394.18 in July.

Other food commodities to register higher prices in the month include beef, carrots, oranges and cabbages.

On the flipside, transport costs have seen the biggest dip during the month with its index seeing the only ease at 0.32 per cent.

The fall in transport costs is greatly linked to the allowance on public service vehicles (PSVs) to resume a 100 per cent carrying capacity in an ease to COVID-19 containment restrictions.

Matatu fares from Meru to Nairobi have for instance fallen to a mean Ksh.800 from a higher Ksh.1000.

At the same time city bus fares have followed a similar trend with fares from Bomas of Kenya to the Nyayo Stadium terminus falling to Ksh.50 from Ksh.60.

The drop in matatu fares has been boosted further by the non-movement in petrol costs during the month.

The present rate of inflation remains the highest since February last year and points to increased pressure on spending by Kenyans as disposable incomes shrink.

Nevertheless, the inflation rate remains pegged within the government’s prescribed range of 2.5 to 7.5 per cent.