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Kenyan inflation drops in March

31 March 2014, 18:14

Nairobi - Kenya's overall inflation rate declined marginally to 6.27 percent in March from 6.86 percent in January despite high energy costs, the statistics bureau said on Monday.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) computed using the geometric mean approach increased by 0.45 percent from 145.95 in February to 146.61 in March.

"During the review period. Food and Non Alcoholic drinks' Index increased by 0.56 percent. This was a result of aggregate rises in prices of several food items outweighing notable falls in prices of others," the bureau said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The bureau said between February and March, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels' Index increased by 0.28 percent.

"This was mainly due to observed higher prices of common cooking fuels including kerosene and cooking gas," the bureau said.

It noted however that on account of lower fuel cost and forex adjustment charges, the cost of electricity was significantly reduced compared to the same month of the previous year.

It said although there was a small decrease in the cost of diesel, the Transport Index increased by 0.30 percent over the same period. "This was attributed to higher costs of petrol, mini/ bus fares and parking charges."

The move comes after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK)'s top monetary policy organ, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said the monetary policy measures had continued to deliver the desired price stability, noting however that the overall inflation remained in the upper bound of the medium-term target of 5 percent.

The MPC, which met early this month to review market developments and the outcomes of its previous monetary policy stance, noted that overall inflation continued to decline in February and remained within the target range, while exchange rate stability was maintained.

The overall month-on-month inflation declined from 7.21 percent in January to 6.86 percent in February. Month-on-month non-food- non-fuel (NFNF) inflation remained relatively stable, increasing slightly from 4.83 percent to 4.93 percent during the period.

This is an indication that the monetary policy stance has continued to support a stable inflation rate and that private sector credit growth during the period was non-inflationary, the MPC said.

- Xinhua

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