Kenya’s economic performance expanded by 5.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
According to data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistic (KNBS), the growth in January, February and March 2023 is a decline compared to 6.2 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) realized in a similar period last year.
The growth is mainly attributed to a rebound in agricultural activities, which grew by 5.8 per cent owing to sufficient rainfall experienced during the period analyzed.
“Most macroeconomic indicators showed upward trajectory during the quarter under review,” KNBS said.
However, inflation rose from an average 9.13 per cent from 5.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 due to significant spikes in food and energy prices
Performance of key economic sectors
Most sectors recorded a decline in growth except for agriculture, forestry and fishing which expanded by 5.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to a contraction of 1.7 per cent in the first quarter of the previous year.
“The significantly improved performance of the sector was attributable to favourable weather conditions that led to enhanced production, especially that of food crops during the period under review. The performance was evident in the significant increase in export of vegetables and fruits recorded during the quarter in review,” KNBS stated
On the other hand, manufacturing recorded a slower growth of 2 per cent in 2023 compared to 3.8 per cent growth in first quarter of 2022.
“In the manufacture of food products, growth was mainly supported by manufacture of bakery products and processing and preservation of fish which expanded by 15.2 and 7.2 per cent, respectively, during the period under review.”
Electricity and Water Supply Performance of Electricity and Water Supply sector was relatively slower in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2022.
Accommodation and Food Service sector is estimated to have expanded by 21.5 per cent compared to 40.1 per cent growth recorded in the first quarter of 2022.
“The accommodation and food services activities sector has been growing steadily owing to dissipation of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that consequently led to improved economic environment in most tourist destinations,” KNBS noted.
Information and Communication Information and Communication sector grew by 8.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 9.0 per cent growth in the corresponding quarter of 2022. Domestic voice traffic rose by 12.3 per cent to 21.5 billion minutes in the first quarter of 2023.
Financial and Insurance Activities Financial and Insurance sector grew by 5.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 17.0 per cent growth in the quarter of 2022.