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imageNAIROBI: Kenya's energy regulator said on Saturday it was increasing maximum retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene for the month until mid-January, after it had cut prices for the two previous month-long periods.

Fuel prices have a significant impact on inflation in east Africa's biggest economy, where the economy depends heavily on diesel for transport, power generation and agriculture, while kerosene is used in many households for lighting and cooking.

The Energy Regulatory Commission raised the maximum price that can be charged for super petrol in Nairobi by 0.41 shillings a litre to 109.28 shillings ($1.26), hiked diesel by 1.27 shillings to 104.52 and increased kerosene by 0.28 shillings to 83.07 shillings.

The prices are effective from Sunday until Jan. 14.

Inflation, which in the year to November was 7.36 percent, has steadily eased since hitting 8.29 percent in September. But some analysts say price pressures may be building, and rising fuel prices could feed into that.

They say upward pressures come from an economic recovery, healthy credit growth and a positive outlook for demand.

Kenya's central bank, which kept its main interest rate at 8.50 percent at its last meeting in November, next meets in January. Inflation of 7.36 percent is at the upper end of the bank's medium-term target of 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

The regulator reviews domestic energy prices every month, with adjustments made depending on fluctuations in international energy prices.