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Kenya’s Economy Grew by 7.5% in 2021, Rebounding from 0.3% in 2020

Kenya's GDP grew by 7.5 percent in 2021, rebounding from the 0.3 percent contraction in 2020 according to the Economic Survey for 2022.

Farmer planting barley in Kenya I David Jones - Crop Nuts

Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.5 percent in 2021, rebounding from the 0.3 percent contraction in 2020 according to the Economic Survey for 2022.

In contrast, the cost of living surged to 6.1 percent in the year from 4.7 percent in 2018, according to the survey by the Kenya National Bureaus of Statistics (KNBS).

The increase was mainly attributed to an increase in fuel and food prices, forcing households to spend more on their incomes.

“Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased from 5.4 percent in 2020 to 6.1 percent in 2021. The increase was mainly due to an increase in the prices of fuel and food items,” KNBS data released Thursday showed.

“The country’s macroeconomic environment is expected to remain stable despite the likelihood of a rise in inflation, weakening of the Kenyan Shilling against its major trading currencies, and significant rise in energy prices,” the survey noted.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the growth was bolstered by improved performances in the manufacturing (6.9 percent), wholesale and retail trade (7.9 percent), real estate (6.7 percent, transport, and storage (7.2 percent), and financial and insurance activities (12.5 percent) sectors.

“Most economic activities recorded positive growth, except in agriculture, forestry, and fishing which contracted by 0.1 percent in the review period compared to a growth of 5.2 percent in 2020,” Yatani said.

In 2022, the National Treasury expects the economy to expand by 6 percent from an estimated 7.6 percent in 2021, and the fiscal and current account deficits would remain within limits at 5.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

“Kenya is expected to continue on a growth trajectory after successful containment of Covid-19 pandemic and projected peaceful elections. As a country we have matured democratically, we have learned our lessons from past elections,” Mr. Yatani said.

“I am quite optimistic that we are going to maintain that sense of stability throughout the electioneering period.”

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