Find us on Google+ My Sensible Cent: The KNBS Must be Wrong on Reporting a Reduced Cost of Living

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The KNBS Must be Wrong on Reporting a Reduced Cost of Living

I really love statistics, especially when it  "shows" that: "The cost of living, in Nairobi Kenya, in the month of October dropped 6.4 per cent compared to September."

Whether or not the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 'cooked' the figures is an argument for another day. The least convincing, however, is the reasons for the said reduction in cost of living.

KNBS say notable reductgions in the prices of kerosene, electricity, and cooking gas contributed to the change. Seriously?

“During the month, housing, water, electricity, and other fuel index declined by 0.16 per cent over the same review period,” said Zachary Mwangi, acting Director General, KNBS.

KNBS further observes that although forex adjustment charges increased from Sh1.39 to sh1.46 per Kwh (I really do not know what that mean), fuel cost adjustment charges on the other hand decreased from sh5.43 to 5.18 Kwh of electricity consumed.

For them, “This led to slightly lower cost of electricity in October 2013 compared to September 2013,”.

During the month, they say, transport index decreased marginally by 0.05 per cent mainly due to reduced prices of petrol and diesel.
Now I wouldn't argue about the reduction in transport, as I am yet to own a car. But for public transport comuters like us, the change in transport may only be attributed to luck.
The reduction in prices of gas and electricity is the joke of 2013. After the Government/treasury slapped the whole nation with a VAT on almost anything, what shocked me most was the sharp increase in gas and electricity prices.
In September, I refilled my 6kg gas cylinder at  ksh.1150. Come October, i was forced to part with 1350 for the same amount of gas. If thats a price reduction, then a pitty my primary maths teacher.
Again in September, I paid ksh. 630 for 44.9 units of electricity while in October, 2013, i paid ksh. 650 for 38.8 units of electricity.
My message to statisticians, you can cheat me on matters politics or relationships but when it come to money, it pains.
I now understand why so many people lost faith in pollsters who projected a landslide victory for then PM, Raila Odinga, only for him to be floored UhuruRutu alliance in the first round.

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