Kenya economic growth surges to 7.5 percent


Kenya economic growth surges to 7.5 percent


Traders selling onions at Marikiti Market in Nairobi on March 30, 2021. Farming activities contracted 0.2 percent in 2021 on poor weather that hurt production. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Kenya’s economy rebounded to grow 7.5 percent in 2021 compared to a contraction of 0.3 percent a year earlier, according to Economic Survey 2022.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday the economic expansion was largely boosted by the easing of Covid-19 restrictions which helped recovery in key sectors with exception of agriculture.

“All the economic activities registered positive growth other than agriculture. There has been sound macroeconomic management to support growth,” KNBS managing director Macdonald Obudho said “Our economy has picked and we are growing at that high rate. The world has grown by 5.9 percent [while] Kenya has grown by 7.5 percent.”

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Farming activities, which were a rare bright spot in pandemic-hit 2020, contracted 0.2 percent on poor weather that hurt the production of key crops such tea, maize and coffee. In 2020, the agriculture sector grew 5.2 percent.

The manufacturing sector recovery to grow 6.9 percent compared with a contraction of 0.4 percent in the prior year, while transport and storage activities grew 7.2 percent compared with a contraction of 7.8 percent.

Building and construction slowed to a growth of 6.6 percent compared with 10.1 percent the year before.

“The country’s macroeconomic environment is expected to remain stable despite the likelihood of a rise in inflation, weakening of the Kenya shilling against major trading currencies and significant rise in energy prices,” Mr Obudho said. “We are aware of the Russia-Ukraine war which is causing part of that problem [inflation] and also our weather pattern that has seriously changed is also likely to contribute to what we are likely to face in terms of inflation rate.”

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