CBK Records Improved Diaspora Remittances, Tea Horticulture Exports in May

Remittances by Kenyans in Diaspora Grow 17.3% in October

Kenyans working and living abroad sent home USD 258.2 million in May from USD 208.2 million in April,  Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows.

The data reflects a 24 percent increase in ‘improved diaspora remittances’ said the CBK.

The regulator disclosed that contribution to total diaspora remittances to Kenya from South Africa rebounded from US$ 5.7 Million in April to US$ 15.2 Million. 

There has also been a noted increase in remittance inflows from the USA.

Other significant increases were realized from Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Australia, and Switzerland.

“The cumulative inflows in the 12 months to May totaled USD 2,816 million compared to USD 2,739 million in the 12 months to May 2019, reflecting a growth of 2.8 percent,” the CBK said in its weekly bulletin.

On Friday, Dr Patrick Njoroge, CBK Governor post-Monetary Policy Committee meeting said “The full brunt of lockdowns, night curfews and restricted movements of persons, which were introduced in March, was felt most severely in April. But there are all indications that the economy is beginning to bounce back strongly.”

The CBK Governor also expressed optimism to a strong post-pandemic recovery also attributed to strong performance in the tea and horticultural sector.

“Horticulture exports are almost at normal levels, mainly due to a pickup in demand and easing of supply restrictions in key destination markets, and increased cargo capacity. As a result, receipts from tea and horticulture exports increased by 15.2 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively, in May 2020 compared to May 2019,” said the MPC after retaining its benchmark lending rate at 7.0 percent Thursday.

“While growth was weak in Q1, production of tea and export of tea and horticulture, Kenya’s key foreign exchange-earners, has been strong between May and June,” said Dr. Njoroge, “By all indications, in May, the economy is bouncing back.”

However, he was quick to point out that caution needed to be observed. 

“We do not want to be bullish, I would even say it’s foolish to say the worst is behind us. We need to be cautious. At the end of the day, it’s not GDP that matters,” he said.

“The expectations that we are going to sink much further has not been born by reality, even so, I don’t think the numbers, in the end, reveal the pain to individuals.

In the same month, services exports were subdued due to the adverse impact of the pandemic on tourism and air transport services.