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Kenya overall inflation rate decreases to 4.7 per cent in January

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s overall inflation rate decreased to 4.7 percent in January from 5.71 percent in December 2018, the statistics bureau said on Thursday.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said that the decrease in the price of maize grain, maize flour, sugar and beans in January contributed to overall low inflation in the first month of 2019.

Zachary Mwangi, director general of KNBS, said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased from 193.51 in December 2018 to 194.18 in January, or 0.35 percent.

"Between December 2018 and January 2019, food and non-alcoholic drinks index increased by 0.78 percent," Mwangi said in a statement.

According to Mwangi, year-on-year food inflation stood at 1.62 percent in January. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index increased by 0.20 percent on a monthly basis due to higher cost of housing rent and cooking fuels. But the transport index reduced by 1.40 percent month-on-month mainly due to decreases in the pump prices of petrol and diesel.

The prices were obtained from selected retail outlets in 25 data collection zones in Nairobi and in 13 other urban centers.


Staple food prices below five year average in Eastern Africa: report

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The prices of most staple foods across Eastern Africa remain below five-year average levels, a report released on Wednesday showed.

The report by the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, a regional body co-chaired by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization, said over-supply of maize, rice, beans, sorghum and wheat across the region leads to the low prices.

"The prices are below last year and five-year average levels in most markets in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia because of average to above-average harvests and carryover stocks from the previous harvest," said the report.

In Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, the main drivers for the lower prices are the availability of other substitutes including grains, roots and tubers, in addition to regional imports, according to the report.

"The prices were under upward pressure towards the end of the year in Somalia because of expectations of below average January-to-February harvest, and in Ethiopia because of civil unrest related trade disruptions and high inflation," said the report.

Maize prices were highest in the fourth quarter in South Sudan and Burundi because of the lingering effects of domestic conflict and poor economic situation.

The main destinations for the regional exports in the quarter were Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda and northwestern part of Tanzania, which accounted for 56 percent, 17 percent, 15 percent and nine percent of the total respectively.



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