Govt Lists 14 Basic Commodities Whose Prices Have Increased

  • Customers queueing at a supermarket in Kenya
    Customers queueing at a supermarket in Kenya
  • The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has released a report on the alarming inflation rate in the country.

    According to the bureau, the overall year on year inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 5.56 per cent, in March 2022. 

    KNBS, in the report released on Thursday, March 31, also listed 14 basic commodities whose prices rose in the same month. 

    "The prices of most items increased significantly, in March compared to other previous months this year. This was mainly attributed to the increase in prices of most of the food items which outweighed the decrease in prices of others," KNBS stated. 

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    An image of various cooking oil brands on display in a supermarket.

    Prices of cooking oil, wheat flour white, and tomatoes increased by 6.50, 4.47, and 4.22 per cent in March 2022, respectively.

    Furnishings, household equipment, and routine household equipment index, increased by 1.36 per cent between February 2022 and March 2022. This was due to an increase in prices of laundry/bar soap and detergents, among other items.

    During the same period, prices of green grams, carrots, and oranges decreased by 0.97, 0.69, and 0.49 per cent, respectively. Prices of food items in March 2022 were relatively high compared with prices of food items recorded in March 2021. 

    Among the commodities whose prices increased include wheat flour, fresh packeted cow milk, exotic eggs, cooking oil, kale-sukuma wiki, tomatoes, Irish potatoes, house rent, gas prices.

    Others include laundry soap, detergents, petrol, diesel. In that period alone, the price of wheat flour alone increased from Ksh144 to Ksh151, that of salad increased from ksh312 to Ksh332, LPG gas from Ksh2,659 to Ksh2,866.

    According to the government agency, the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ Index, increased by 0.71 per cent between February 2022 and March 2022. 

    Kenyans shop inside a supermarket in Nairobi in March 2020

    "Transport Index increased by 0.63 per cent between February 2022 and March 2022. The hike was attributed to an increase in prices of petrol and diesel that rose by 3.83 per cent and 4.49 per cent, respectively," KNBS stated in their report.

    Public Service Vehicles (PSV) as well as announced plans to hike fare prices early this month citing revised fuel prices that were released by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).

    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, Patrick Njoroge, projected that the country’s inflation will remain well-anchored despite the increase in food prices.

    He added that food prices are expected to moderate in the coming weeks due to expected rains which will alleviate the shortages.

    "You go to a market or kiosk looking for a particular commodity and you find it is not the price that you are used to. However, this will not be on every commodity but rather just specific goods that most do not spend their significant disposable income on, "Njoroge stated.