Kenya’s economy is projected to grow by 5.6% from 4.7% last year, Stanbic Bank economists projected on Thursday. The Kenya macroeconomy was supported by improved performance in the agricultural and tourism sectors rippling down to the manufacturing and services sectors.
Jibran Qureishi, Stanbic’s Regional East African economist explained the Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) served as a leading indicator as it vindicated itself over the quarterly GDP growth rate. He underlined the importance of the government’s focus on credit growth to the private sector, improved agricultural policies, the balance of payments and exchange rate.
Recent ranking in the ease of doing business report, end of the political impasse, improved efficiencies in ports and expected increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) would hopefully promote the economy over the 6% year on year growth target which Kenya has only achieved five times since 1980.
However, Kenya’s debt service costs which are mainly external and fiscal consolidation needs to be thought about more carefully for a better and consistent economic performance and Mr. Qureishi warned that the biggest downside risk to the growth outlook would be slower private sector credit growth and fiscal consolidation. He stated that the introduction of IFRS 9 (replacing the IASB 39) will make the credit growth drought recovery sluggish although the demand side for credit is improving and that the government also needs to develop a sound industrial policy which would have productivity gains rather than increasing expenditure on new infrastructure projects.
- Inflation is likely to fall in H1.18 and thereafter edge higher as 2017.
- Short rains have been good.
- An expected rebound in the agriculture sector.
- KES to be steady in H1.18.
- GDP growth is likely to recover in the near to medium term.
Here’s a recap of other recently-released economic forecast reports on Kenya.