Kenya’s economy grew 7.5 per cent in 2021


Kenya’s economy grew 7.5 per cent in 2021 driven largely by the recovery of key sectors from the Covid-19 pandemic and sound macroeconomic environment.

The 2022 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates that the growth is in contrast to the 0.3 per cent contraction witnessed in 2020, when the economy took a full blow from the pandemic.

The survey indicates that in 2018, the GDP growth stood at 5.6 per cent while it dropped to 5.1 per cent in 2019.

Last year’s growth was driven mainly by education (214%), accommodation and food services (52.5%) and financial and insurance activities (12.5%).

Other drivers of last year’s growth were manufacturing (6.9%), wholesale and retail trade (7.9%) and transport and storage (7.2%). 

Accommodation and food services showed an impressive revamp after suffering a massive -47.7 per cent contraction at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

“All economic activities registered positive growth other than agriculture,” KNBS director general Mcdonald Obudho noted during the release of the survey, in Nairobi, on Thursday.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing contracted to -0.2 per cent from 4.6 per cent growth recorded in 2020.

According to the survey, the agriculture sector, which contributes close to a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product, is projected to underperform on account of poor weather patterns.

“The country’s macroeconomic environment is expected to remain stable despite the likelihood of a rise in inflation, weakening of the Kenyan Shilling against its major trading currencies and significant rise in energy prices,” the survey noted.

It said inflation rate eased during the first quarter of 2022, but it is likely to rise in the second and third quarters of the year on account of rising energy prices as well as increase in prices of other commodities including that of food.

Meanwhile, other sectors of the economy are likely to continue on a growth trajectory after the successful containment of the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected peaceful general election.

Overall, the global economy is projected to remain robust in 2022 as the world copes better with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Against this backdrop, the world trade is expected to remain strong and therefore supportive of external demand for Kenya’s goods and services,” the economic report affirmed.

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