Experts say weaker Kenya shilling pushes import cost up

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kenyan-1000-shilling-note
kenyan shilling note

A weaker Kenya shilling against the U.S. dollar is set to increase the cost of imports, experts said on Monday.

Alpesh Vadher, CEO at PKF in East Africa, a regional tax consultant, told journalists in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, that the shilling has slid in value from 113 to the dollar at the beginning of the year to 115 currently.

“The rising international price for key import goods such as oil and wheat is putting a lot of pressure on the Kenya shilling,” Vadher said.

PKF International, previously known as Pannell Kerr Forster, is a global network of accountancy firms.

According to Vadher, the Kenyan shilling is losing value as demand for dollars exceeds supply.

Gurmit Santokh, managing director at PKF Consulting, said that Kenya can facilitate the appreciation of the shilling against global currencies by boosting its exports.

“Kenya’s widening trade deficit is also further impacting the value of local currency,” Santokh said, adding that the devaluation of the shillings is also driven by speculators who want to benefit through currency trading.

Michael Mburugu, regional tax partner at PKF in East Africa, said that the Kenya shilling has been on a downward trend since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, which increased competition for dollars in the foreign currency market. Enditem

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