Pain For Kenyans As Food Prices Rise By 15pc In July

    Food prices rose at a record pace of 15.3 per cent in July as the cost of major foodstuffs continued to swell in the period.

    According to new data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), cooking oil, wheat flour, sifted maize flour and potatoes have lead in the foodstuffs price surge.

    The four items posted a rise of 46.5, 46, 29.4 and 15.4 per cent respectively across July.

    Incidentally, the four food items posted a rise of 51.7, 44.2, 22.8 and 21.3 per cent respectively in June when food inflation stood at 13.8 per cent.

    Food inflation has stood at a double digit rate since April this year when food costs soared by 12.15 per cent before further posting a rise of 12.44 per cent in May.

    Food inflation has not been within double digit figures in the past according to an analysis of back series data from CBK.

    July consumer prices index (CPI) data which was collected in the second and third weeks of the month did not however capture the impact of the recently announced government maize subsidy programme according to the reserve bank.

    The rise in food prices was enough to offset a deceleration in fuel inflation which fell to 7.3 per cent in July from a higher 10 per cent in June.

    The higher food prices saw the annualized inflation rate peak at a five-year high of 8.3 per cent in July from 7.9 per cent June.

    Food inflation is however expected to ease from a combination of factors including the impact of the unga subsidy programme, easing global commodity prices and a solid harvest at the end of the current crop cycle.