Kenya’s economy is estimated to have expanded by 6.3% in 2018 driven by agriculture, excluding fisheries and forestry, which expanded by 6.6%, up from 1.8% in 2017, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
“The growth was attributable to increased agricultural production, accelerated manufacturing activities, sustained growth in transportation and vibrant service sector activities. Agricultural activities benefitted from sufficient rains that were well spread throughout the country,” said the Statistics body in its Economic Survey 2019.
KNBS further said the growth realized was anchored on a relatively stable macroeconomic in 2018. Inflation remained low at 4.7% in 2018 compared to 8.0% in 2017 majorly as a result of considerable declines in prices of food after the shortage experienced in 2017. T
Overall, the economic growth is likely to slow down, but key macroeconomic indicators are likely to remain within desirable ranges throughout 2019 – KNBS
The National Treasury expects the economy to remain resilient.
“The economy is expected to remain resilient and grow by over 6%. We further expect vibrant growth in tourism and construction sectors due to ongoing infrastructure projects and the big four,” said Henry Rotich the Treasury CS.
However, KNBS says the 2019 outlook ‘looks less optimistic in 2019’. It cites delay in the long rains and depressed rainfall in most parts of the country.
“If this materializes, direct negative impacts will be felt within the activities of agriculture, electricity and water supply sectors. Further impacts could be experienced in industries that have strong interlinkages with these sectors. However, activities of the tourism
sector are likely to remain vibrant supported by strong expansion in tourists’ arrivals.”
Other factors include a significant rise in inflation, largely driven by an increase in food prices as a result of constrained domestic production in 2019 and a gradual increase in international oil prices in the course of the year is anticipated, especially if an agreement on production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their partners is implemented.