Bloomberg News

Kenyan Inflation Accelerates, Adding to Expectation of Rate Rise

December 01, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Kenyan inflation accelerated to 19.7 percent in November as fuel costs increased, adding to chances the central bank will raise interest rates this week.

The inflation rate rose from 18.9 percent in October, the Nairobi-based Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in an e- mailed statement today. Prices rose 1.5 percent in the month.

The shilling slumped 19 percent against the dollar in the first nine months of the year, boosting import costs, including fuel. Kenya’s central bank, led by Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, raised its benchmark interest rate by 10.25 percentage points to a record 16.5 percent in the past four months to help bolster the shilling and curb inflation. Ndung’u said on Nov. 25 the bank will continue to keep a “tight” monetary policy stance until price pressures ease.

“Fuel prices are going up, and that ripples to other sectors like transportation costs, hotels, almost every other constituent of the consumer price index,” Renaldo D’Souza, an analyst at Genghis Capital Ltd., said in a phone interview from Nairobi before today’s data.

The shilling has gained 11 percent against the dollar since the beginning of October, ranking it as the world’s best- performer out of more than 170 currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

The government raised gasoline prices by 3 percent on Nov. 15. The central bank, which will make its next rate decision on Dec. 1, is struggling to bring inflation below the government’s target of between 7 percent and 11 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30.

--Editors: Nasreen Seria, Antony Sguazzin

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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