NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s trade deficit widened by 10.2 percent in
the second quarter of 2018 to 3.02 billion U.S. dollars from
2.74 billion dollars in the corresponding quarter of 2017, the
statistics agency said on Friday.
Director General of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS),
said that the expanded trade deficit was largely driven by both
faster rate of growth and magnitude of imports relative to
“During the quarter
under review, imports grew by 8.8 percent to 4.6 billion dollars
from 4.235 billion dollars in the corresponding quarter of 2017.
Total exports increased by 6.2 percent to 1.582 billion dollars
over the same period,” Mwangi said in statement released in
The balance of
payments estimates for the second quarter, that is from April to
June indicates that the current account deficit narrowed to 858
million dollars in the second quarter of 2018 from 1.3 billion
dollars in the same period in 2017.
According to the
statistics body, the net surpluses in the service and secondary
income accounts contributed significantly to the narrowing of
the current account deficit.
“The current account
deficit was primarily brought about by larger increases in
merchandise imports relative to exports,” Mwangi said.
valued on free on board (fob) grew by 7.6 percent to 4.37
billion dollars while merchandise exports increased by 6.3
percent to 1.596 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2018,”
He revealed that
international merchandise trade balance deficit worsened by 8.3
percent to 2.77 billion dollars while international trade in
services inflows increased by 10.1 percent to 1.36 billion
The government data
indicates that in the secondary income account, remittances by
Kenyans employed in the diaspora amounted to 747 million dollars
in the second quarter of 2018 from 476 million dollars in the
corresponding quarter of 2017.
Mwangi said that the
public and publicly guaranteed external debt grew by 2.65
billion dollars from 22.97 billion dollars as at end of June
2017 to 25.60 billion dollars as at end of June 2018.
He said that the
growth was occasioned mainly by increased uptake of commercial
banks loans that stood at 9.06 billion dollars as at the end of
the review period.
Mwangi noted that
the foreign exchange earnings from domestic exports went up to
1.39 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2018 from 1.324
billion dollars in the similar quarter of 2018.
According to the
statistics body, the value of exports to Africa countries
accounted for 35.2 percent of total exports while European Union
and Asia accounted for 21.6 percent and 28.4 percent,
respectively, during the second quarter of 2018.
Total value of
exports to Africa increased to 557 million dollars in the second
quarter of 2018 from 533 million dollars in the second quarter
Total exports to the
East African Community partner states rose from 266 million
dollars in the second quarter of 2017 to 288 million dollars
billion in the same quarter of 2018.
Mwangi said that
Tanzania recorded the highest increase in the value of total
exports over the period at 35.7 percent to 74 million dollars.
He noted that the
value of imports from Asia accounted for 69.1 percent of the
total import bill of 4.6 billion dollars in the second quarter
Imports from Europe
and rest of Africa accounted for 15.8 percent and 11 percent,
respectively, during the review period.