ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
East African nations are expected to experience
mixed economic growth in 2019, an analyst said on
Judd Murigi, head of research,
ICEA LION Asset Management, told a media briefing in
Nairobi that Kenya and Rwanda are expected to
achieve decelerated Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
growth in 2019 as compared to last year.
"However, in Uganda we expect a recovery in the
agriculture and trade sectors which could boost
overall economic growth in 2019," Murigi said.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of
Statistics (KNBS), the country’s economy expanded by
some 6 percent in the third quarter of 2018.
Murigi said deceleration of GDP growth is
projected in 2019 in Kenya is because of the base
Murigi said that the strong GDP growth witnessed
in the first three quarters of 2018 in Kenya was
driven by a rebound in the two largest sectors of
the economy, namely agriculture and manufacturing.
"We note that over the last five-year economic
cycle, the agriculture and manufacturing sectors
typically have their weakest showing in the fourth
quarter, meaning that some deceleration in headline
GDP growth may be seen in the final quarter of
2018," he said.
He further stated that the fact that the strong
showing in 2018 was partly driven by a low base in
2017, as well as the tendency for agriculture and
manufacturing to have alternating years of strong
and moderate growth over the last economic cycle,
GDP growth in 2019 may well normalize back to the
sub-6 percent levels that were prevalent over the
last economic cycle.
The head of research, however, emphasized that
GDP growth of 5.5 percent and above would still
represent a robust expansion of the economy and
double the average growth rate of Sub-Saharan Africa
According to the analyst, Uganda’s GDP remained
flat at approximately 6.1 percent in the first nine
months of 2018 despite sharp declines in the key
sectors of agriculture and trade while strong
recoveries were witnessed in the manufacturing,
construction and real estate sectors.
Murigi noted that that the onset of good rains
could see a recovery in GDP growth in the final
quarter of 2018 driven by agriculture and trade.
He revealed that in Rwanda, GDP growth surged to
over eight percent due to the trade, manufacturing
and construction sectors which all recorded
double-digit growth in the first three quarters of
"All these sectors have over the cycle mostly
recorded single-digit growth, which suggests that
growth could decline sharply towards the seven
percent range in 2019," Murigi stated.