April inflation in Kenya cools to 5.8pc

The cost of living has cooled off for the first time since October, with the rate of inflation in Kenya easing to 5.76 per cent in April from a higher 5.9 per cent in March. The first cool down in consumer prices inside six months has been anchored on a hold in fuel price increments by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) on April 14. “Thew revision to fuel prices announced in mid-April were cancelled providing a benefit to the transport index, which has had a significant impact (on inflation) in the recent past,” KNBS said in a statement on Friday. Nevertheless, food prices remained on the rise during the month with the food index rising by 1.73 per cent on the back of notable increases to some food items. “The prices of tomatoes, cabbages and potatoes increased by 8.5, 5.68 and 3.85 per cent respectively. The year on year food inflation rose by 6.42 per cent between April last year and April 2021,” added KNBS. Further housing and energy prices were on the rise, attributed to an increase in the prices of charcoal and higher rental fees. EPRA surprised the country on April 14 by forgoing an expected all round fuel cost increment in the maximum pump price review in spite of a spike to landed import costs. Subsequently, Citizen Digital has established the Ministry of Petroleum is in the process of effective a petroleum price stabilization mechanism with details to its operation expected before the next mid-month fuel cost review on May 14. According to a letter by the Ministry to oil marketers Chief Executive Officers dated April 20, oil marketers gave up part of their supplier margins for the period April 15 to May 14 and will be compensated by the National Treasury for the haircut taken. The effective role out of the price stabilization mechanism will likely serve to hold down inflationary pressures emanating from fuel price increases. During the month, the cost of petrol, diesel and kerosene averaged Ksh.123.66, Ksh.108.58 and Ksh.98.78 around the country, the same mean as March.

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