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|NAIROBI Rolando Portugal Jersey , May 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's overall monthly inflation rose to 7.3 percent in May from 6.4 percent in the previous month due to an increase in the cost of energy and some food items, the statistics bureau said on Friday.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) computed using the geometric mean approach increased by 1.01 percent from 148.2 in April to 149.7 in May.
"During the review period, Food and Non-Alcoholic Drinks' Index increased by 1.25 percent. There were significant rises in the prices of several food items including maize flour, potatoes and sukuma wiki (kales) among other food items," the bureau said.
These prices increases, it said, outweighed falls in the prices of sugar Ricardo Quaresma Portugal Jersey , milk and a few the items thereby resulting in an aggregate rise in the food index.
Due to higher costs of common cooking fuels, the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels' Index, increased by 1.76 percent between April and May.
"In this regard, price increases were recorded in respect of electricity Raphael Guerreiro Portugal Jersey , charcoal and firewood. The cost of electricity in consumption increased mainly on account of fuel cost adjustment which rose from 0.599 shillings in April to 722 cents per KWh in May," KNBS said.
"For example, the cost of 50 KWh of electricity increased by 21. 71 percent mainly due to this fuel cost adjustment."
The bureau said the Transport Index increased by 1.43 percent mainly as a result of high costs of diesel, petrol and bus fares.
According to Standard Chrered Bank's Regional Head of Research for Africa, Razia Khan, the May inflation most likely signals the start of a new interest rate cycle in Kenya, although he does not expect interest rates to rise anywhere near as much as they did in the last tightening cycle.
"A sufficiently early rate hike will help moderate the overall pace of tightening that is required Pepe Portugal Jersey ," Khan said on Friday.
He said unseasonably dry weather in Kenya, and the country's continued reliance on rain-fed agriculture, are helping to pressure prices.
"However, with indicators pointing to robust underlying momentum in the economy, and strong credit growth (notwithstanding recent security risks), the likelihood of food-related pressures spilling over into secondary effects is high," Khan added.
The move comes as the government will next month start reviewing how formula Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is measured in order to improve decision making.
The formula which is referred to as rebasing would see the GDP expand by 20 percent Mario Rui Portugal Jersey , making Kenya a middle-income economy by next month.
KNSB said the government is set to revise calculations of the size and composition of the economy in a "rebasing" exercise to be done in June. GDP rebasing typically involves changing the year from which values are compared.
The bureau said the revision of the economic indicators requires a wide range of datasets that should be analyzed in a coherent, consistent and integrated approach in order to achieve the overall goal of improved economic statistics.
Economic experts said the current GDP, which was rebased in 2001, does not factor in the invention of the Internet, the coming of mobile phones and mobile money transfer services.
by Chen Jipeng, Hu Juanxin
SINGAPORE, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Market access remains the most difficult part of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks Manuel Fernandes Portugal Jersey , which are set to take "a bit of time," ministers involved in the talks said here on Monday.
Speaking at the end of the first day of the two-day TPP ministerial meeting in Singapore, New Zealand's Minister of Trade Tim Groser said that he is comfortable with the progress.
"The rules negotiation is in a very advanced stage. I'm very comfortable with the direction of travel," he told reporters.
However, on the market access issue, which is the other pillar of the TPP talks, the United States and Japan have been in tough talks over access to Japan's agricultural market and the United States' automobile market.
Groser said that there is no progress yet between the top two economies of the bloc on market access but that they have now started to engage each other on the details.
"This negotiation is never designed for anyone who is into instant gratification. This is going to take a little time Luis Neto Portugal Jersey , but we are absolutely moving forward, in my opinion, but we are not there yet," he said.
The TPP talks led by the United States gathered the representatives of 12 countries that also include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile Jose Fonte Portugal Jersey , Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Vietnam and Singapore.
Prior to the meeting, chief negotiators and subject matter experts have met in Vietnam from May 11 to May 17 Joao Moutinho Portugal Jersey , Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.
The last ministerial meeting of the TPP talks took place in February. The ministry said that the ministers "agreed on the majority of the landing zones identified at the meeting in December."
The ministers have said that the two-day ministerial meeting in Singapore are a "check-in meeting" aimed at evaluating the progress.
"The main task is to see what is the state of the negotiations after two more rounds of the TPP (talks) and the various bilaterals. They need to assess where they have moved far enough to be able to close sections that have been unfinished and what remains to be done," said Deborah Elms, head of Temasek Foundation Center for Trade and Negotiations, Nanyang Technological University.
Akira Amari, a Japanese minister in charge of the negotiations, said at the end of Monday that he and U.S. representative Michael Froman had bilateral meetings to affirm the drive to push for progress before a plenary session.
Amari said he told other ministers at the meeting that Japan will try its best to open the market even though it can
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