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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenyan economy expands by 6.3 percent in the second quarter 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s economy expanded by 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to 4.7 percent during a similar quarter in 2017, the statistics agency said on Friday.

Zachary Mwangi, Director General of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), said that the growth was against a backdrop of a fairly stable macroeconomic environment and favorable weather conditions.

“During the review period, the country experienced heavy rains that impacted positively on most of the agricultural and generation of hydroelectricity activities,” Mwangi said in a statement released in Nairobi.

He said that an analysis by sector showed that activities of agriculture and electricity and water supply recorded significant improvements to grow by 5.6 percent and 8.6 percent compared to growths of 0.8 percent and six percent, respectively during the second quarter of 2017.

According to KNBS, the accommodation and food service and information and communication recorded the highest growths of 15.7 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively in the second quarter.

“On the other hand, activities of the mining and quarrying and construction recorded the most notable deceleration in growths during the review period,” he added.

The statistics bureau said that the second quarter was characterized by favorable weather conditions that were well spread across the country and a result, agricultural production improved significantly compared to the same quarter of 2017.

Mwangi said that the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector expanded due to substantial increases in output of growing of crops and animal production sub-sectors.

“The increased production was also reflected in notable declines in the prices of key food crops during the quarter in review compared to prices recorded in the same quarter of 2017,” he revealed.

KNBS said that the agricultural sector’s performance was also buoyed by notable growths in production of key crops that benefited from sufficient rains experienced during the quarter.

“Specifically, the volume of tea produced grew by 18.4 percent in the quarter compared to a marginal growth of one percent realized in the same quarter of 2017.

Similarly, the volume of coffee produced rallied from a significant decline in 2017 to grow by 44.1 percent during the quarter in review,” he added.

According to the statistics body, the horticultural sector showed mixed performance during the period under review given the volume of exports of fruits increased by 30 percent, while that of vegetables and cut-flowers decreased by 17.8 and 14.7 percent, respectively.

“The value of horticultural crop exports grew from 287 million U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2017 to 371 million dollars in the review quarter,” he added.

Mwangi said that the manufacturing sector recovered from a contraction of 0.2 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2017 to expand by 3.1 percent in the quarter under review.

“The improvement in the sector was partly attributable to agro-processing activities that benefited substantially from increased agricultural production during the period under review,” he added.

He noted that the performance of the construction sector was relatively slower in the quarter under review compared to the same quarter of 2017 as the sector grew by 6.1 percent in the quarter under review compared to 9.5 percent growth registered in the second quarter of 2017.

“The sector’s growth, even though slower than the corresponding quarter of 2017, was supported by the construction of the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR),” he revealed.

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