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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya’s account deficit expected to narrow to 6.2 pct in December 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s current account deficit is expected to narrow to 6.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in December, down from 6.5 percent in September, the country’s apex bank said on Friday.

Patrick Njoroge, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, told a media briefing in Nairobi that the reduction will be mainly due to a slowdown in imports.

“In the past two months, there has been a slight decrease in Standard Gauge Railway imports as well as improved weather conditions which have reduced need for food imports,” Njoroge said.

The 12-month current account deficit widened to 6.5 percent of GDP in September from 6.4 percent in July reflecting higher international oil prices and continued import of food to mitigate the adverse affects of the drought.

Njoroge said the country has been experiencing increased financial flows since September.

“Strong diaspora remittances, resilient inflows from tea and horticulture exports and continued recovery in the tourism sector will continue to support the current account going forward,” he added.

According to the apex bank, the country’s economic growth is expected to remain resilient in 2017 despite the prolonged electioneering period witnessed.

Njoroge noted that foreign purchases of equity at the Nairobi Securities Exchange outweighed sales in October for the first time since April, reflecting confidence in the economy.

He added that private sector credit has maintained the upward trend since August with notable credit growth in domestic trade, manufacturing and the real estate sectors. 

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