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Kenya economy grows by 4.7 pct in Q1   

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s economy expanded by 4.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 as compared to 5.3 percent for a similar period last year, the country’s statistical bureau said on Friday.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Director General Zachary Mwangi attributed the slowdown in growth to a contraction in the activities of the agricultural sector as well as a deceleration in growth of financial intermediation and electricity supply.

“The 2017 first quarter’s growth was negatively impacted by drought that emanated from failure of the 2016 short rains as well as a delay in the onset of the 2017 long rains,” Mwangi said in a statement released in Nairobi.

The unfavorable weather was particularly detrimental to production of the main food crops thereby aggravating performance of the sector.

The agriculture sector recorded the first contraction in gross value added since 2009 which was attributable to unfavorable weather conditions during the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

Mwangi said that electricity supply was also adversely impacted on by the shortage of rains resulting to slowed growth during the quarter under review.

The statistical body noted that the finance and insurance sector’s growth slowed primarily due a slow down in commercial lending to the private sector.

However, a number of key sectors recorded improved growths in the first three months of 2017, with accommodation and food services being the highest at 15.8 percent from 10.4 percent during the first quarter of 2016.

Other major sectors whose growths improved significantly include Wholesale and Retail trade; Real estate; Transport and Storage; and Information and Communication, according to the official data.

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