Positive Environment News

Drought Doubles Kenyan Inflation Rate

Date: 01-Feb-06
Country: KENYA

CBS said the food and non-alcoholic beverage index increased by 14.7 percent in January from the previous month.

"This was mainly attributed to (a) rise in prices of cabbages, kale, dry beans, English potatoes and green grams," it said.

Kenya is facing its worst drought in years with four million people on the edge of starvation. Dozens of people and thousands of livestock have died in the last few months.

Underlying inflation, which excludes food items, fell to 5.5 percent in January from 6.0 percent in December.

The alcohol and tobacco index increased by 1.7 percent in January from December due to an increase in the price of the stimulant leaf khat, CBS said. Khat, grown in eastern Kenya, is widely consumed in east Africa and as far as the Middle East.

CBS said higher electricity costs caused the fuel and power index to rise by 0.6 percent in January compared with December.

The country's consumer price index rose to 201.3 points in January from 185.2 points in December, CBS said.

CBS collects its data every second and third week of the month from shops in 13 towns in Kenya. It is seen as representing the spending behaviour of Kenyan urban households.

Inflation rose sharply in 2004, peaking at 19 percent in September, due to drought and high oil prices.

© Thomson Reuters 2006 All rights reserved

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