Friday, July 25, 2008

Urban Inflation Index

a week early, with some changes

Tracking prices of some urban commodities compared to six months ago and a year ago

Fuel: Litre of petrol fuel (at local petrol station) is Kshs. 101.50 ~ $1.50 (up 15.3% in ½ year)
6 months ago: Kshs. 87.99, Year ago: Kshs. 80.79
despite record world oil prices, government joint tender system has cushioned some impact on the economy – even oil companies are not celebrating

Staple food: Maize flour (2 kg. Unga pack at Uchumi) is Kshs. 73 (up 40% in ½ year)
6 months ago Kshs. 52, Year ago Kshs. 50
farming woes continue, poor crop expected this year

Other food item: Sugar (2 kg. Mumias pack) at Uchumi is Kshs. 145 (down 3% in ½ year)
6 months ago: Kshs. 150, Year ago Kshs. 150 Kshs
new minister trying to clean up notorious sector

Entertainment: Bottle of Tusker beer (at local pub) is Kshs. 130 (up 8.3% in ½ year)
6 months ago; Kshs. 120, Year ago: Kshs. 100
agricultural input costs rising, but post-budget sin tax pushed prices up. You need this to network in Kenya, or switch to Alvaro?

Communications: mobile phone promotion
This month Safaricom has Ongea tariff which has phone calls priced Kshs. 10 per minute all day, while Celtel has a Kshs. 3 per minute tariff (and with a conditional ‘free’ call package thrown in). Safaricom is also promoting broadband hotspots for the entire Nairobi and Mombasa areas.
- Six months go: Safaricom had extended the hours for Kshs. 8 calls on Saasa tariff, while Celtel had Kshs. 4 per minute calls to 3 preferred numbers
- A year ago Safaricom had Super Tariffic tariff which has calls 38% cheaper and SMS 30% cheaper than the previous tariff
mobile communications one of the few things that are getting cheaper

Exchange rate
1 US$ equals Kshs. 67.4 (shilling has appreciated 4.7% in ½ year)
6 months ago: 70.7, Year ago: 66.5
strong , but now sliding, shilling has cushioned some impact of high oil prices, but exporters are complaining

Electricity cost
New addition
My electricity bill in July 2008 is Kshs. 1,860
A year ago was Kshs. 995
Consumption was the same, the culprit was fuel costs adjustment which added Kshs. 820(649c/kwh) to my bill compared to Kshs. 200 shillings (170c/kwh) a year ago as KPLC recently increased the electricity charges which could have some adverse effect on the economy later in the year – already big manufacturers are investing in power plants and alternative generation sources.


adam23 said...

Hey a'll,

Fuel is way too expensive in Kenya, yet the Saudis claim that they offer Kenya among other developing countries deep discount in oil prices...yet the price is Kenya is 101.50 per this to California, the state which the most expensive fuel in the US at $4.35 per gallon. In comparison, this is 406ksh per gallon ~ $6.25 per gallon in Kenya. Kenyans are definately paying way too much than in the US. Americans are crying over $4.00 gas prices...Come to Kenya, with its GDP yet its price is over $6.00. It is nuts in Kenya..I believing that the government needs to ease on oil taxes and this is trusting what the saudis are saying about the prices they sell to Kenya.

adam23 said... more than thing:

Did Aly Khan sell all his safaricom shares at his stop loss of 6.65 out of discipline or ego?

I listened to both his interviews with MJ including the lastest one...and it had all indicators and fundamentals that Safaricom was a buy and a hold. So my question is, did Aly Khan put himself on the spot or got put on the spot thus forced to act out of ego or is it discipline as he call it..I say it is ego!!

razor said...

They, say $6/g would bring the american economy to its knees..people who can save enough to buy a car in kenya are doing alright...its not a luxury in the US, so imagine how much $6/g would do to e.g the dishwasher earning $5.50/hr .

adam23 said...


Actually no legally employed person in US should earn $5.50/hr. The federal minimum wage is about $6.65/hr..and of course most states, e.g.California has a higher state minimum wage. Also you are comparing a dish washer with some of higher income blanket in kenya..faulty comparison. Still operating a car is expensive in Kenya. I find it so when I visit home, especially because I make long stays when I visit, and I ain't no disrespect to the job though.

coldtusker said...

Taxes/Levies constitute 50% of the price of petrol in Kenya...

And we know the wastefulness of ali baba and his 42 thieves...

does kimunya earn a salary while he 'stepped aside'?

odegle said...

bottom line, the earth seems to be saying that it cannot support the current energy demand. a rethink into how we are using available energy and other sources of the same is urgently required to be done by all of us.

Maishinski said...

So Aly Khan sold huh?

Why? Pressure? Ego? Cognitive Dissonance?



Anonymous said...

Hi Banks

Let me pose a question here, Which of this two are human rights violation?

1. Grand Regency being sold to Libyians (undervalued or not)?

2. Kenyans being unable to put food on their tables because of high fuel prices/inflation, wrong policies?

yet you have human rights organization and media busy hyping the sale of a Hotel (mind you 99% of Kenyans have never had a meal there)

Only in Kenya!

fimbo said...

Talk about a sticker shock on that elec bill. Very bad for business

andrew@jijinimarkets said...


the reason most kenyans or Africans) can't put food on their tables is because of corruption. Tackling it, however symbolic, is a step in the right direction.

Feeding hungry Kenyans (or Africans) may mask the problem but it will be a recurring problem - as it has continued to be despite Aid initiatieves going back decades. Give a man a fish... teach him to fish, etc, etc.

bankelele said...

adam23: prices are hight, but Kenyan dishwashers (if there are any) can’t afford to drive cars

Razor: as a former dishwasher (when it was $1/gallon) I am shocked that the US is approaching the minimum wage equivalent in gas prices

Coldtusker: that has never been on the table, KRA must always report growth.

Odegle: I think it’s time, but ethanol is not the answer

Maishinski: I haven’t read that he sold,

Fimbo: that was a shock; the reaction is yet to appear

andrew@jijinimarkets: the grand regency scandal sells newspapers, but people will not buy papers (they can’t afford) to tell them things are getting worse

adam23 said...


Yes he sold...see his website.

Banks, my point precisely regarding dishwashers. You missed my point.

Ssembonge said...

How I wish my electricity bill was 186/=. I just got a bill for $103 for July which is not even half of what I'll pay for winter heating. Come December to March, my bill will be no less than $300 per month. And you can imagine how much people living in McMansions will be paying.

As for Safcom, I thought Kenyans will be buying it enmass.

Rafiki said...

World oil prices have been dropping by more than 20% from their July 11 high, yet we are still paying the same record prices at the pump...


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