Sugar, tomatoes and beef products tops this month’s inflationary rate, with the overall inflation standing at 16.67 per cent, According to the Consumer Price Indices (CPI) and inflation rates by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Sugar prices went up by 26.74 per cent to reach 155.10 shillings from July’s 122.38 shillings per kilogramme, to lead in the food and alcoholic drinks index, as the average prices of tomatoes, beef, mangoes and rice went up by 16.99, 1.26, 11.45 and 3.04 per cent respectively to record an overall rise of 1.78 per cent between July and August in the category.
According to the Director General of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Anthony M. kilele, the Restaurants and Hotels’ index increased by 2.32 per cent between July and August 2011 due to continued increase in the costs of café and takeaway, restaurants and hotel foods.
“A meal of Ugali Mboga from an ordinary hotel which sold at 54.54 shillings on average in August 2010, would retail at 64.85 shillings in July 2011 and at 68.36 shillings in August 2011,” said Kilele.
The high food prices comes at a time when the country is experiencing sugar shortage, high power bills and increased fuel prices that have in turn escalated the transport costs.
The report also recorded a 0.86 per cent in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other fuels. The rise is attributable to the increased electricity, house rents and cooking fuel costs.
“Higher fuel and foreign exchange adjustment charges, the cost of consuming 50 units of electricity for example varied from 657.5 shillings in July to 695.5 shillings in August 2011. Similarly, due to higher prices of petroleum products, the overall Transport index as well as the cost of kerosene went upwards by 0.96 and 3.08 per cent respectively,” said Kilele.
Last month, KNBS attributed the rising electricity costs and the adjustments that have been experienced in the oil industry to the country’s heavy reliance on thermal power to meet its energy targets which it termed as expensive.
However between the last two months the costs of vegetables and grains recorded low inflationary rates that have covered the rising costs, as prices of sukuma wiki, maize flour, maize grains and potatoes among other food items stood at 11.82, 6.82, 6.32 and 5.91 per cent, respectively.
With the rise in the prices of essential goods and joblessnes in the country, consumers will be forced to realign there spending focus to cut on the frequency of using purchasing of non essential commodities.