Inflation touched a 57-month low in February despite price increases in several key food items, transport costs and cooking gas.
The cost of living measure dropped to 4.46 per cent from 4.83 per cent a month earlier.
The rare declined came despite expiry of government’s temporary subsidy on maize flour, Kenya’s staple, whose prices have shot up along with other food items.
“Between January and February 2018, food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index increased by 2.2 per cent which was higher than the 1.69 per cent recorded between December and January. This was mainly due to increases in prices of some foodstuffs as a result of drought conditions currently being experienced in some parts of the country,” the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said in a statement.
But despite the increases, the KNBS said year on year food inflation eased to 3.83 per cent in February from 4.71 per cent.
Food takes up the largest share (36 per cent) of the basket of goods that is used to calculate inflation, making it the main driver of the cost of living.
Irish potatoes went up seven per cent to Sh60 per kilo, sifted maize flour was up two per cent to Sh125 per two-kilo packet while a kilo of kales was up nine per cent to Sh53. Before the expiry of maize flour subsidy on December 31, the price of a two-kilo packet was capped at Sh90.
The subsidies were tied to last year’s drought.
Onions, cabbages and spinach also recorded price increases last month, the KNBS indicates. Cooking gas was up nine per cent to an average of Sh2,150 in refilling the 13-kg cylinder.