(Bloomberg) -- Kenyan inflation unexpectedly slowed for the first time in nine months in November, helped by lower gas and food prices.

Consumer prices rose an annual 9.5%, compared with 9.6% in October, Nairobi-based Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday in an emailed statement. The median estimate of five economists in a Bloomberg survey was 9.8%. Prices rose 0.3% in the month.

The Central Bank of Kenya has increased interest rates by a cumulative 175 basis points in 2022, the most in seven years, in a bid to bring price growth back within its 2.5% to 7.5% target band in early 2023. Inflation has been above that range since June.

Slower-than-forecast inflation may ease pressure on the central bank to hike interest rates again at its first monetary policy committee meeting of 2023 in January.

Annual food and non-alcoholic drinks price-growth -- the largest component in the inflation basket -- slowed to 15.4% in November, compared with 15.8% in the previous month. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels prices rose 6.1%, after climbing 7.1% in October.

 

--With assistance from Simbarashe Gumbo.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.