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Economy

Kenya's inflation rises to a five-year high of 11.7pc in May

A milk collection centre. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A milk collection centre. Inflation has hit a five-year high of 11.70 per cent, lifted by higher food and fuel prices that have been on the rise since last year. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Inflation has hit a five-year high of 11.70 per cent, lifted by higher food and fuel prices that have been on the rise since last year.

This has pushed the cost of living measure further outside the government’s preferred ceiling.

Official data shows inflation has increased from 11.48 per cent in April to 11.70 per cent in April – the highest rate since May 2012, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

“Between April and May 2017, food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index increased by 1.26 per cent. The food index increased due to rise in prices of sugar, milk, maize grain and other food items,” the bureau said in a statement Wednesday.

Continued rise

“As a result, the year-on-year food inflation rose by 21.52 per cent in May 2017.”

The Central Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Monday maintained the benchmark rate at 10 per cent despite inflation hitting a five-year high, saying the current monetary policy stance had reduced the threat of money-driven inflation.

Kenya is struggling to contain high inflation, caused mostly by higher food prices, which is outside the monetary control.

The government recently gave a subsidy that puts a cap on the prize of the country's staple food, maize flour, at Sh90 per two-kilogramme packet, from a high of Sh160.

Dairy processors on Monday announced a reduction in milk prices by Sh10 for every 500-millilitre packet of milk, citing increased supplies and the government's move to remove duty on imported milk powder.

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