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Kenya’s economic growth hits five year high

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Kenya’s economy is estimated to have expanded by 6.3% in 2018 compared to the 4.9% growth recorded the previous year, The Economy Survey 2019 report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows.

Last year’s growth is the highest the country has posted in five years since 2014 boosted by strong performances by the different sectors according to KNBS Managing Director Zachary Mwangi.

The country recorded 5.9% and 5.7% economic growth in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

The hospitality sector was the biggest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 16.6% as western nations lifted travel advisories while the Information & Communication Sector was the country’s second best performing sector recording an 11.4% contribution to the country’s GDP.

Further, the economic impact of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was felt during the year as the Transport and Storage sector posted an 8.8% contribution to the country’s stock of produced goods and services.

Electricity supply was a key economic driver contributing 10.5% to the country’s GDP while the construction industry contributed 6.6%.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing contributed 6.4% while Manufacturing, one pillar of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda contributed 4.2%.

{Read: Economists differ with Uhuru on loans expenditure}

“Economic growth was attributable to increased agricultural production, accelerated manufacturing activities, sustained growth in transportation and vibrant service sector activities,” reads the report.

The extractives industry (mining and quarrying) was the least impressive performer contributing 2.8% to Kenya’s GDP.

Speaking during the launch of the report at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Thursday, Mwangi said that the bureau is projecting that tourism will be the biggest contributor to the economy this year.

“We expect that this year, tourism will perform even better. The industry has shown a lot of promise. We expect it to stay at the top of the pile,” said Mwangi.

{See also: Infrastructure projects have fuelled economic activity in 2019}

The projections show that the economy has recovered from a turbulent 2017.

During that year, the economy took a huge hit as the country underwent two bitterly contested presidential elections. The electioneering year is the only period when Kenya’s economy grew by less than 5.0% since 2014 after posting 4.9% growth.

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