Kenya's inflation shoots up to 6.58 percent in April
Christian Fernsby | ▼ April 30, 2019
Kenya's inflation shot up in April to its highest level since September 2017 due to rising food, electricity and fuel prices, the statistics office said on Tuesday.
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Inflation was 6.58 percent year-on-year in April from 4.35 percent a month earlier, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said.
On a month-on-month basis, inflation was 3.51 percent, up from 1.60 percent in March.
The food and non-alcoholic index rose 6.86 percent month-on-month in April from 3.30 percent the previous month, the bureau said. The index carries a 36.04 percent weight in the basket of goods used to measure inflation.
Kenya's long rainy season from March till May started late in most of the country, hurting food and other agricultural production. Agriculture accounts for close to a third of Kenya's annual economic output.
The government's preferred band for inflation is between 2.5 and 7.5 percent in the medium term.
"While we were expecting food and fuel prices to be a source of pressure on inflation, the magnitude of the rise has taken us by surprise," Razia Khan, the head of research for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank in London, said.
The Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels Index was up 0.93 percent month-on-month and 5.78 percent year-on-year, the statistics office said.
The World Bank trimmed its forecast for Kenya's economic growth in 2019 to 5.7 percent this month from an earlier forecast of 5.8 percent because of the delay to the rainy season.
President Uhuru Kenyatta however said this month the government expected the economy to grow by 6.3 percent in 2019. ■ What to read next
The cold airmass that is currently over the Eastern U.S. will continue to modify going into Friday and the weekend as the surface high moves offshore and more of a southerly flow commences.
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