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Inflation nudges higher to 7.21 pct in January

31 January 2014, 22:03

Nairobi - Kenya's year-on-year inflation rate inched up to 7.21 percent in the year to January, the statistics office said on Friday, edging closer to the 7.5 percent upper threshold of the central bank's target range.

Policymakers held interest rates at 8.5 percent for the fourth straight meeting this month, citing stability in key indicators such as inflation.

Though the January inflation increase is small, it is the first since September, when it jumped to its 2013 high of 8.29 percent after a new sales tax came into force.

Traders, however, said that the rise is unlikely to affect policy in the short term because the outlook for prices is still benign.

"Headline inflation remains contained, with major threats expected to escalate from May onwards due to grain imports and potential negative base effects," said Alex Muiruri, a fixed-income trader at African Alliance Investment Bank.

Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 1 percent from the previous month, while housing, water, electricity and gas prices were up 0.87 percent.

Education costs climbed to 3.7 percent, reflecting a seasonal adjustment at the start of the new school year.

- Reuters


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