Tourism sector pushes country’s economic growth up by 5.9 per cent


Kenya’s economy grew by 5.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 5 per cent growth over the same period in 2015 with tourism being the most improved sector, a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has revealed.

According to the analysis, the number of tourist arrivals at major airports increased from 231,038 in the first quarter of 2015 to 261,404 in the quarter under review. The data attributed the hike to mitigation measures that were instituted to boost tourist arrivals.

The report further indicates that the most notable improvement was a rebound in activities of accommodation and food services, which expanded by 12.1 per cent in the period under review compared to a contraction of 11.4 per cent during the same quarter in 2015.

Other sectors which reported an increase include Agriculture, as well as Forestry and Fishing, which grew by 4.8 per cent in the quarter under review compared to a 2.9 per cent growth realised in the same quarter of 2015. Meanwhile, tea production recovered from a contraction of 27.2 per cent experienced in the first quarter of 2015 to record a growth of 71.1 per cent due to favourable weather conditions that characterized the quarter under review.

“Value of exports of coffee and tea increased by 7.6 per cent and 24.5 per cent respectively over the same period. These developments were primarily on account of improved international prices during the review period,” the report states.

The horticulture sub-sector that entails growing of cut flowers, fruits and vegetables registered notable growths both in quantity and values.

Manufacturing and construction registered slowed growth at 3.6 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively compared to 2015’s 4.1 per cent and 12.6 per cent.

The electricity sector expanded by 8.5 per cent with total generation of electricity at 2,241.18 Kwh in the quarter under review.

Generation from hydro and geothermal increased by 26.5 and 4.4 per cent, respectively, while thermal declined by 17.5 per cent during the review period due to favourable weather conditions experienced during the quarter that necessitated the scaling down of the more expensive thermal generation in favour of hydro and thermal generation.

The Transport and ICT sectors registered improvement from the previous year expanding by 8.4 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively.

The financial sector grew by 8 per cent a slow growth compared to 10 per cent  during the same period the previous year.



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