Kenya’s Forex Reserves Rise to Lifetime High on Horticulture, Remittance and Tourism Inflows

Kenya's Forex Reserves Rise to Lifetime High on Horticulture, Remittance and Tourism Inflows

Kenya’s foreign exchange reserves hit a life-time high of 10.06 billion US dollars, the central bank confirmed on Monday.

“This gives the central bank unprecedented cushion against external shocks. Moreover, sustained stability in the current account position should offer fundamental support for the currency,” according to Faith Atiti and Stephanie Kimani, Commercial Bank of Africa Limited Market Analysts.

The Central Bank said the foreign exchange market has remained stable supported by the narrowing of the current account deficit to 4.5% of GDP in the 12 months to April 2019 from 5.5% in April 2018.

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“This reflects the resilient performance of exports particularly horticulture and coffee, strong diaspora remittances, and higher receipts from tourism and transport services,” said Dr. Patrick Njoroge, the CBK Governor.

Latest statistics from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) weekly bulletin show that the remittances have soared to the highest level since June 2018.

“The 12-month cumulative inflows to April increased to $2.75 billion from $2.23 billion in April 2018, reflecting a 23% growth,” said CBK in the report.

“North America, Europe and the rest of the world accounted for 47 %, 24%, and 29 percent, respectively. Remittances from the US amounted to $111.97 million representing 45.6% of inflows in April 2019.”