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Kenyan inflation slows in Dec, may have peaked

28 December 2011, 17:08

Nairobi - Kenya's year-on-year inflation rate slowed in December for the first time in more than a year to 18.93 percent from 19.72 percent a month earlier, official data showed on Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 0.74 percent in the month of December compared with a 1.52 percent rise a month earlier, as price increases in all baskets of the Consumer Price Index eased, except for education, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said.

Three out of five analysts surveyed by Reuters earlier this month forecast inflation may have peaked and was likely to fall thanks to an aggressive cycle of monetary tightening and a stronger shilling.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 0.78 percent compared with a 1.35 percent rise in November, while the cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose 0.62 percent month-on-month compared with 1.55 percent.

Likewise, transport costs increased by 1.45 percent this month compared with a 2.19 percent jump in November, helped by a reduction in petrol and diesel prices by the regulator in the middle of December.

The Kenyan shilling has strengthened 6.2 percent against the dollar this month, and gained more than 21 percent since hitting a record low of 107 per dollar in October. In the face of high inflation and a weak shilling, the central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate (CBR) by a total of 11 percentage points to 18 percent since October5.



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