Inflation in the month of May fell by 84 basis points to stand at 12.22, the sixth straight monthly drop, the Kenya Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. This was down from 13.06 recorded in April as food prices showed a 0.18 per cent decline and other price categories showed marginal increases.
Effectively, this means consumer prices were 12.22 per cent higher than in May 2011. A consumer good costing Sh100 at that time last year will now cost Sh122.22. This is the lowest inflation rate in over a year since the 12.05 rate recorded in April last year. The Central Bank of Kenya has been on an aggressive policy stance to curb inflation with the key lending rate remaining at 18 per cent this year.
The onset of the long rains however, seems to have contributed largely to the drop in inflation as the most important consumer category used in the basket of consumer prices surveyed is food which showed declining prices. "The decrease was mainly due to falls in prices of some food products such as sukuma wiki, cabbages, spinach, onions and oranges in May compared to April 2012," KNBS said in a press statement. "On the other hand there were significant rises in the prices of maize grain, maize flour, wheat flour among other food items over the same period."
The Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other fuels index rose 0.22 per cent on the back of higher firewood, charcoal and rent prices. The Transport Index was also up 0.79 per cent as marginal increases in petrol prices influenced higher taxi and public transport charges.