By O’Brien Kimani
The economy grew 5.8 percent last year supported by a strong export portfolio and a strong expansion in the tourism sector.
International arrivals jumped 13.5 percent to rake in 99 billion shillings.
Last year’s GDP expansion was marginally higher than the 5.7 percent growth rate recorded in the year 2015.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics says the GDP expansion was hampered by drought and slow uptake of credit in the last three months of last year.
The economy experienced a conducive macroeconomic environment last year save for the last three months where growth was held back by below par rain and a slowdown in the uptake of loans after the interest rate cap law was enacted.
This saw key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction and financial services sectors record slowed growth.
However, stronger growth registered in tourism, real estate, transport and ICT powered the economy to expand 5.8 percent in 2016.
The growth supported the creation of 832,900 new jobs of which 747,300 were in the informal sector.
Accommodation and food services, which is the main component of the tourism sector, recovered from a contraction of 1.3 percent to an expansion of 13.3 percent in 2016.
The agriculture sector posted a slower growth of 4 percent with maize production reducing by 5.4 million bags to 37.1 million bags.