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Kenya Inflation Unexpectedly Slows for First Time in Nine Months

Kenyan inflation unexpectedly slowed for the first time in nine months in November, helped by lower gas and food prices.

Consumer prices rose an annual 9.5%, compared with 9.6% in October, Nairobi-based Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday in an emailed statement. The median estimate of five economists in a Bloomberg survey was 9.8%. Prices rose 0.3% in the month.

The Central Bank of Kenya has increased interest rates by a cumulative 175 basis points in 2022, the most in seven years, in a bid to bring price growth back within its 2.5% to 7.5% target band in early 2023. Inflation has been above that range since June.

Slower-than-forecast inflation may ease pressure on the central bank to hike interest rates again at its first monetary policy committee meeting of 2023 in January.

Annual food and non-alcoholic drinks price-growth — the largest component in the inflation basket — slowed to 15.4% in November, compared with 15.8% in the previous month. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels prices rose 6.1%, after climbing 7.1% in October.

SourceBloomberg
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