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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya current account deficit narrowed by
23.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s current account deficit narrowed by 23.1 percent on a yearly basis to 116 billion Kenyan shillings (1.14 billion U.S. dollars) during the third quarter of 2018, the statistics bureau said on Monday.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said that the decrease in the current account deficit was mainly driven by increased value of exports in goods and services as well as reduced value of food imports.

Merchandise trade balance improved to a deficit of 2.50 billion dollars in the third quarter of 2018 compared to a deficit of 2.79 billion dollars in the same period of 2017, the statistics agency said in a statement released in Nairobi.

According to KNBS, total exports for the third quarter of 2018 grew by 3.9 percent to 1.48 billion dollars while the value of imports dropped by 4.3 percent to 4.24 billion dollars over the same period.

The increase in the value of total exports coupled by the decline in the value of imports, resulted in narrowing of the merchandise trade deficit from 3 billion dollars in the third quarter of 2017 to 2.76 billion dollars in the same quarter of 2018, according to the statement.

The statistics agency said that Africa remained the leading destination for Kenya’s exports, accounting for 35.9 percent of the country’s total exports in the third quarter of 2018.

KNBS noted that Kenya’s exports to Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa decreased from 409 million dollars in the third quarter of 2017 to 385.6 million dollars in the corresponding quarter of 2018.

The data showed that there was a notable increase in Kenya’s exports to South Africa, mainly on account of machinery re-exports.

The statistics body said that the total exports to the European Union accounted for 19.7 percent of total exports at 290 million dollars with Netherlands, Germany and Spain recording increases of 14.4 percent, 7.7 percent and 53.3 percent in the value of total exports, respectively, in the third quarter of 2018.

KNBS added total exports to China, India and Japan increased by 62.4 percent, 73.6 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively.

KNBS said that the stock of public external debt grew from 22.67 billion dollars as of the end of September 2017 to 25.57 billion dollars as of the end of September 2018, representing a 12.8 percent increase with commercial banks accounting for 34.5 percent of the total stock of public external debt.
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UPDATE:

Kenya economy expands six percent in the third quarter of 2018

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s economy expanded by 6 percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared with a 4.7-percent growth rate in the same period in 2017, the statistics agency said on Monday.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said in a statement that the improved economic expansion was mostly supported by a pickup in activities of agriculture, construction, and electricity and water supply, as well as a rebound in the manufacturing sector.

The statistics bureau noted that despite a deceleration in growth rates, activities of accommodation and food services and information and communication attained the highest growth rates of 16 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively, in the third quarter of 2018.

The agricultural sector expanded by 5.2 percent compared to a growth of 3.7 percent in the same quarter of 2017, thanks to the favorable weather conditions, said the statistics agency.

KNBS added that quarter-on-quarter growth comparison shows that there was a rebound in manufacturing activities from a contraction of 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2017 to a growth rate of 3.2 percent.

"The sector recovered from declines recorded in 2017 as shown by growth reported in the last three quarters of 2018. Improved performances were recorded in both manufacture of food and non-food activities, though production in some activities remained constrained," said the KNBS.

The statistics body said that the electricity and water supply sector increased by 8.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to a growth rate of 4.5 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

"This growth was mainly driven by substantial increase in generation of electricity using hydro and geothermal sources that are relatively cheaper to produce coupled with a significant drop in generation of electricity from thermal sources," the KNBS noted.

The statistics bureau said that transportation and storage sector grew by 5.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018, which was slightly higher than the 5.3 percent growth rate in the same quarter of 2017.

The data also revealed that consumption of light diesel, which is an indicator for transportation of passengers and freight, increased by 9.4 percent.

The agency said that seasonally adjusted gross domestic product, which compares consecutive quarters, grew by 0.9 percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared with 1.3 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2018.

 

             

 

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