Airtime, matatu fares and rent top the list of Kenya’s cost of living basket, KNBS report
A comprehensive analysis of Kenyans’ spending pattern since 2019. Airtime, matatu fares, and rent top the list
A report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has shown that the majority of Kenyans are spending a fortune on buying airtime than on other essential commodities such as food and housing (rent).
According to KNBS, airtime is now the single item taking up most income for Kenyans after its Consumer Price Index (CPI) got reviewed.
After reviewing the basket of goods and services used to compile CPI, KNBS ranked airtime the best with a weight of 5.496, the largest of any single consumer product.
This report captures the Kenyans spending pattern for the last two years, since 2019.
According to the report, Kenyans are also spending more money on airtime than on health and education.
Matatu fares and rent for a single room came second and third respectively.
White bread, milk, and beef with bones also top the list of Kenya’s most expensive products that Kenyans overspend on.
KNBS said that these new figures will be used in determining the new CPI indices and inflation rates.
Besides, KNBS has also revised income categories for Nairobians.
Following lifestyle, consumer behavior and taste changes, several items such as kerosene stove, radio cassette, CD player and cassette hire have been shelved.
New entrants into the Kenyan consumer basket include mobile money transfers, university boarding fees, and TV decoder subscription fees especially DSTV.
Other new additions to Kenya’s CPI include courier services, decoder charges, garbage and refuse collection.
Airtime has become popular in Kenya catapulting Safaricom to the greatest heights in East and Central Africa.
This new entrant has found its way into the cost of living basket dubbed CPI, a thing which policymakers are not taking kindly given the economic implications this serious expenditure may have.
Dr. Bitange Ndemo, the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and a senior lecturer at the UON said that airtime is no longer a luxury for most Kenyan households.