Economy

High food and fuel prices push inflation rate to 7.1pc

food

Kariuki Gatiba arranges groceries at the Nyeri market on August 8, 2020. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

Rising food and fuel prices pushed the inflation rate to 7.1 percent in May as the high cost of living continues to erode consumption power.

The inflation — a measure of annual changes in the cost of living – rose from 6.47 percent in April, driven mainly by food, transport and fuel prices, according to data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

"The rise in inflation was mainly due to increase in prices of commodities under; food and non-alcoholic beverages (12.4 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (7.9 percent); transport (6.4 percent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (6.0 percent)," KNBS said.

The average prices of key foodstuffs shot up compared to April, with a 2kg packet of sifted maize flour rising 6.9 percent to sell at Sh147.57 in May, a litre of cooking oil was up 5.3 percent to Sh370.71, while a 500ml packet of milk sold at Sh57.30, up 3.7 percent.

Transport fares also went up in tandem with the increase in prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene.

Read: Explainer: Why inflation is so bad - public enemy number 1

The Central Bank of Kenya on Monday raised its policy lending rate by half a percentage point to stem rising inflation and stabilise the shilling.

Read: Central Bank raises interest rate to tame inflation