The shilling on Friday touched an all-time low of Sh120 in opposition to the greenback in intraday buying and selling, elevating fears it could breach the mark in coming days.
The weakened shilling signalled larger price of imported items and inflation.
The Central Financial institution of Kenya (CBK) information late afternoon confirmed the Kenya shilling exchanged at a median of 119.9059 on Friday, establishing the nation and shoppers for costlier imports, electrical energy and, debt servicing misery.
The continued weakening of the native foreign money — by greater than 5.7 p.c since January — is anticipated to push up residing prices, hurting households already subjected to excessive gasoline and meals costs.
“The rising price, direct and oblique, of the nationwide sovereign debt burden, shall be handed on within the type of harsher authorities austerity,” mentioned Deepak Dave of Nairobi-based Riverside Advisory on the doable wider implication of the financial fallout from a weaker shilling.
“Guarantees made within the current election will develop into much less more likely to be stuffed.”
Inflation hit a 62-month excessive in July at 8.3 p.c on the again of a soar within the value of important gadgets like cooking oil, meals, gasoline and cleaning soap, squeezing family budgets and demand for items and providers.
This has compelled many households, particularly within the low-income phase, to cut back their purchasing basket in an surroundings the place companies have frozen salaries as they get well from Covid-19 financial hardships.
The rise in the price of important commodities has compelled employees to chop again spending on non-essential gadgets resembling beer and airtime, in the end hurting companies like East African Breweries Restricted (EABL) and Safaricom.
Kenya imports numerous items together with vehicles, petroleum, equipment, drugs and prescription drugs merchandise, vegetable oil, wheat, clothes and footwear.
The depreciating shilling threatens to pile extra stress on gasoline costs, which has stoked public anger.
Petroleum costs have remained excessive as a result of geopolitical dangers, forcing the federal government to retain subsidies.
The shilling has been on the again foot in current weeks on the mix of weak inflows and robust greenback demand throughout sectors, merchants mentioned.
There was a powerful greenback demand from numerous sectors that has outstripped lacklustre inflows, they identified.
The continued lack of the shilling in opposition to the greenback has seen the CBK intervene to cushion additional loss.
The brand new spherical of shilling loss to the greenback coincides with conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, sustained world issues of oil inflationary pressures and post-election jitters domestically.
A fortnight in the past, the Unbiased Electoral and Boundaries Fee (IEBC) declared Deputy President William Ruto had received the election by a slim margin, however 4 out of the seven election commissioners dissented, saying the tallying of outcomes had not been clear.
Opposition chief Raila Odinga formally challenged the outcomes of this month’s presidential election on the nation’s Supreme Court docket final week, setting the nation for a protracted political uncertainty.
It might be weeks earlier than a brand new President is sworn in, escalating a political contest that has thrown traders into uncertainty.
Many companies need elections over earlier than investing additional, aware of the weeks of post-election violence that adopted the disputed 2007 presidential ballot, which killed round 1,200 individuals and noticed the financial system take a nose-dive.
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati declared Dr Ruto the winner with 50.49 p.c of the vote in opposition to Odinga’s 48.5 p.c.
Mr Odinga has urged the Supreme Court docket to declare him the President-elect, claiming he received the August 9 Common Election.
The candidate says he was robbed of victory after the IEBC didn’t think about votes from 27 constituencies that weren’t declared and verified earlier than Dr Ruto was declared the victor on August 15.