Since March 2018, quarterly economic growth in Kenya has been on the decline. In the third quarter of 2019, the GDP growth hit a low of 5.1 per cent compared to 5.6 per cent quarterly growth in the first and second quarters of the year.
The figure contradicted a Bloomberg survey result which predicted a 5.8 per cent economic growth in the third quarter of 2019.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics attributed the decline to low agricultural output caused by drought as well as a slowdown in most sectors. In the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sector, quarterly growth dropped to 3.2 per cent in the period under review from 6.9 per cent in a similar period in 2018. The sector contributes roughly a third of Kenya’s GDP.
The country recorded a decline in the production of key commodities such as tea and sugarcane as per a report from the Bureau of Statistics. In the three months period, vegetable exports dropped by 28 per cent while fruit exports dipped by 11.3 per cent.
Kenya’s Current Account Deficit narrowed to KSh 101 billion in the third quarter from KSh 107.6 billion in the previous quarter. Exports declined by 0.1 per cent to KSh147.5 billion while imports fell by 8.5 per cent to KSh 384.8 billion.