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Kenya's year-on-year inflation rate rose for the 10th month in a row in August to a higher-than-expected 16.67 percent from 15.53 percent in July as food prices climbed again, official data showed on Tuesday.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement the consumer price index rose 1.25 percent in August from a month earlier after a 1.27 percent rise in July, driven by a 1.78 percent increase in food and non-alcoholic drinks prices.
According to Reuters report, the median forecast for the August inflation rate in a Reuters poll of analysts was 16.5 percent.
Analysts say food shortages will continue to pressure prices as Kenya experiences a drought that is expected to extend into 2012. Sugar prices have also surged in recent months due to a supply shortage.
According to the statistics office, sugar prices leapt 26.74 percent in August from a month earlier while the cost of tomatoes, beef, mangoes and rice also rose. The year-on-year rate of food inflation stood at 23.86 percent.
The statistics office said, however, that there were notable falls in the price of Kenyan staples such as kale, maize flour, maize grains and potatoes from July.
The rise in food prices also fed through to a 2.32 percent month-on-month increase in the restaurants and hotels component of the consumer price index.
The shilling's persistent decline also means import costs, particularly oil, will increase, analysts say.
In August, the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels component of the consumer price basket rose 0.86 percent leaving the index up 13.08 percent from a year earlier.