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Marginal increase in cost of living in May

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Marginal increase in cost of living in May

Sukuma Wiki

Stella Fredrick, a vegetable trader in Chuka town, Tharaka Nithi County at the Chuka open-air market on May 24, 2021. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NMG

Kenya’s inflation remained flat last month handing a reprieve to households at a time of constrained spending in the wake of the coronavirus economic melt-down.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows that inflation — a measure of changes in the cost of living year-on-year rose to 5.87 per cent from 5.76 per cent in April at the back of marginal increases in transport and the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

A kilo of cabbage rose the highest to Sh44.85, reflecting a 7.3 per cent increase from April followed by a kilo of sukuma wiki (kales) that increased by 6.5 per cent to Sh53.98. Onions recorded the third-highest jump with a kilo retailing at Sh112.65, a rise of 5.03 per cent.

The cost of transport increased by 0.69 percentage points from April driven by the rise in fuel prices as a litre of petrol rose 2.87 per cent to Sh127.21 last month.

Food products that carry the biggest weight in the inflation basket at 32.19 per cent, rose 0.32 per cent from April.

The increase in the cost of basic food commodities increases the pain on households that are reeling from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic economic fallout.

But the cost of electricity, water and charcoal dropped in the period under review, offering relief to homes.

A kilo of charcoal used for cooking in low-income households dropped the highest at 2.9 per cent to Sh58.07 last month.

Homes consuming 50 kilowatt-hours (kWh) paid Sh837.18 last month reflecting a 2.47 per cent drop from April while those that used 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) paid Sh4, 752.32, a 1.75 per cent drop in a similar period.

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