The Energy and Petroleum Regulation Authority (EPRA) reviewed the maximum retail prices of super petrol and diesel upwards by KES 5.00 per litre to KES 134.72 and KES 115.60, respectively. The prices of kerosene remained unaffected. The hike was attributable to rising global prices of crude oil and a partial withdrawal of the fuel subsidy to relieve some pressure off the Petroleum Development Levy. Internationally, OPEC members and their allies refused to deviate from their plan for gradual output hikes, effectively standing back from the supply crisis engulfing the global crude oil market.

Locally, the Central Bank of Kenya maintained the CBR at 7.00% for the thirteenth time in a row, going against the hawkish stance of regional and global MPCs. The Bank cited that the inflation rate remained within its target region, supported by governmental intervention. The Bank acknowledged that prevailing global risks could have an impact on the local economy.

Globally, the Central Banks in the USA, UK, Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda among others raised their benchmark interest rates, with the view of maintaining price stability and taming rising inflation occasioned by rising energy and commodity prices and disrupted supply chains, adversely affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict; with further rate hikes anticipated in the coming months.

The inflation rate increased y/y to 5.56% from 5.08% in February. The food and non-alcoholic beverage index increased m/m to 9.92%, the price of electricity reduced by 11.13%; while that of LPG gas increased by 38.18%; core inflation increased to 2.2%

A majority of companies released their FY’21 Results, with the Banking sector posting an overall improved performance and a return to dividend payment, on the back of reduced loan loss provisioning and increased operational efficiency pointing towards economic recovery from the pandemic. However, activity on the majority of counters remained muted despite dividend announcements.