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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

 

Kenya revises 2017 economic growth forecast to 5.5 percent

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Friday revised its 2017 economic growth forecast downwards to 5.5 percent due to prevailing political uncertainty caused by presidential polls rerun.

Cabinet Secretary in the National Treasury Henry Rotich told journalists in Nairobi that the prolonged electioneering period caused by nullification of the Aug. 8 presidential polls by the Supreme Court is negatively affecting the business climate.

“Investors are adopting a wait-and-see approach towards new projects and this has forced the government to revise downwards its economic growth forecast for 2017,” Rotich said during the launch of the Sector Working Groups for the Preparation of the Financial Year 2018/2019 and the Medium Term Budget.

Kenya registered a 4.7 percent economic growth for the first quarter of 2017.

“This growth was also lower than expected and can be attributed to the drought that affected agricultural sector which is the mainstay of the economy,” he said.

Rotich said that the government is waiting for growth figures for second quarter of 2017 in order to make an accurate forecast for the entire 2017 Gross Domestic Product growth.

The National Treasury is also planning to launch austerity measures in order to cut wasteful spending.

“The areas to be targeted will include non-essential spending such as foreign travel and hospitality,” he added.

“The savings in public expenditure will be used to fund rerun of the presidential polls slated for Oct. 17 as well as drought mitigating efforts,” he noted.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has requested approximately 125 million U.S. dollars to conduct the fresh polls. 

             

 

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