NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s economy expanded by 5.7 percent during
the first quarter of 2018, compared to 4.8 percent in a similar
quarter of 2017, the statistics agency said on Friday.
Zachary Mwangi, Director General of Kenya National Bureau of
Statistics (KNBS), said that the significant acceleration in the
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was mainly attributable to improved
weather conditions and a boost in business and consumer confidence
after the conclusion of general elections in 2017.
"From the supply side, growth was mainly driven by a recovery in
activities of agriculture as well as improved output in wholesale
and retail trade, manufacturing, and real estate sectors," Mwangi
said in a statement released in Nairobi.
He noted that finance and insurance, transportation and storage,
construction, electricity supply, and mining and quarrying recorded
marked slowdown in growth.
"Growth of activities in the information and communication was
robust while accommodation and restaurants slowed significantly but
remained relatively strong," he said.
During the quarter under review, agriculture, forestry and
fishing sectors grew by 5.2 percent compared to 1 percent in a
similar period of 2017.
According to KNBS, the sector’s growth was mainly supported by
favorable weather conditions during the fourth quarter of 2017 and
the onset of long rains in early March.
Mwangi noted that largely, improved growths were recorded in most
sub-sectors except fishing, where the performance remained subdued
during the quarter under review.
The volume of tea produced rose by 10.7 percent in the first
quarter of 2018 mainly attributable to ideal weather conditions that
prevailed during the quarter under review.
The volume of horticultural crop produce rose significantly
during the quarter under review except that of vegetables that
declined by 2.9 percent.
Specifically, the volume of cut flowers and fruits exported
increased by 12.4 and 15.3 percent, respectively during the review
As a result, the value of the horticultural crop exports rose by
39.1 percent to stand at 440 million U.S. dollars in the quarter
The manufacturing sector grew by 2.3 percent in the quarter under
review compared to a growth of 1.3 percent in a similar quarter in
Mwangi said that the improved growth was mainly supported by
increased production in the manufacture of food sub-sector.
The statistics agency said that the construction sector grew by
7.2 percent in the first three months of 2018 compared to 8.2
percent growth realized in the first quarter of 2017.
Inflation averaged at 4.49 percent during the review quarter
compared to an average of 8.77 percent experienced during the same
period of 2017.
Mwangi said that the slowdown in inflation was mainly influenced
by lower food prices during the period under review.
Kenyan trade Deficits slightly widens to U.S. 2.76 billion
Kenyan overall inflation rates rising to 4.28 percent during