SMEs will drive growth in 2019 if access to finance is unlocked – CBK

The establishment of an effective Common External Tariff in the East Africa region will lead to the exponential growth of the manufacturing sector.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be the drivers of Kenya’s growth in 2019, provided access to finance is unlocked according to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

“Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) remained resilient in 2018 and are expected to support growth in 2019, to the extent that their constraints, including access to finance, are alleviated,” said CBK Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge.

Private sector credit growth is expected to strengthen in 2019 relative to 2018, with the anticipated higher economic activity and easing credit risk, according to the committee.

Additionally, the alignment of Government spending to the Big 4 priority sectors is expected to boost economic activity in manufacturing, agriculture, construction and real estate, and health sectors.


The regulator has projected that the GDP will maintain its momentum carried over from the first quarter of 2018 where the economy grew by 6% compared to 4.7% in 2017.

“Growth is expected to remain strong in 2019, supported by agricultural production, a stable macroeconomic environment, and continued improvement in the business environment,” read the statement.

In 2018, improved performance reflected higher agricultural production, the continued recovery of the manufacturing sector, and the buoyant services sector, particularly trade, information and communication, accommodation and restaurants, transport and storage, and real estate.

The MPC decided to retain the CBR at 9.00 percent as it continues to monitor local and international developments.