Kenya Economy Expands 6.2% in Second Quarter as Tourism Recovers

  • Manufacturing grows the slowest dampened by food processing
  • Government forecasts economic growth of 6.1% for 2016

Kenya’s economic grew more quickly in the three months through June as tourism rebounded and agriculture grew at a faster pace.

Gross domestic product expanded 6.2 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter compared with 5.9 percent in the previous three months, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement e-mailed from the capital, Nairobi. Growth was faster than the 5.9 percent recorded in the same period last year.

“The review quarter experienced a relatively stable macroeconomic environment,” the statistics agency said in an e-mailed statement.

Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, ships more black tea than any other producer globally. The government forecasts economic growth of 6.1 percent for this year compared with 5.6v percent in 2015.

Farming activity, the biggest contributor to output, expanded by 5.5 percent from a revised 4 percent a year earlier. Accommodation and food services, which captures tourism activity, rebounded to grow by 15.3 percent from a contraction of 5 percent a year ago. Tourist arrivals increased by 10 percent to 186,685 travelers in the three months.

Manufacturing grew 3.2 percent compared with 5.1 percent a year earlier. The $61 billion economy has lost its “competitive edge” in manufacturing as its exports into the region are being out-muscled by China, Yvonne Mhango, a sub-Saharan Africa economist at Renaissance Capital Ltd. in Johannesburg, said by phone before the release of the data.

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