The cost of living has soared to its highest this year with March inflation coming in at 5.6 per cent from 5.1 per cent in February, this is according to new data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

The three-month high rate of inflation is attributable primarily to rising food and energy costs on the backdrop of higher fuel prices during the month.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages index has for instance gone up by 1.49 per cent while the energy index is up by 0.71 per cent.

Major food commodities to register price increments across March include cooking oil which rose by 6.5 per cent to Ksh.332.37 for a litre of salad cooking oil.

The cost of a two kilogram packet of wheat flour has meanwhile soared by 4.5 per cent to Ksh.151.43 from Ksh.144.95.

Other food products to mark a rise in cost during the month include eggs (3.25%), packeted milk (1.76%) and tomatoes (4.22%).

The cost of LPG has marked the sharpest month-on-month price increase with the cost of refilling a 13 kilogram cylinder standing at Ksh.2,866.20 in March from Ksh.2,659.70.

During the month, fuel costs, which are a co-primary driver for inflation alongside food, rose by 3.83 and 4.49 per cent for petrol and diesel respectively.

While the cost of kerosene held unchanged, petrol costs hit Ksh.135.54 per litre on March 15 while the cost of diesel hit Ksh.116.51. This is the highest cost of fuel for the two respective commodities since September 2021.

Meanwhile, the cost of living stands at its highest since December last year when the rate of inflation settled at 5.7 per cent.


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