Kenyan Economy Grows Most Since 2016 as Good Weather Boosts Crop

(Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s economy grew at the fastest pace since 2016 in the first quarter as the country reaps the benefits of a calmer political climate and resurging agricultural output.

Gross domestic product in East Africa’s largest economy expanded 5.7 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, compared with a revised 5.3 percent in the previous quarter, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in an emailed statement Friday. That exceeded the 5.1 percent median estimate by economists in a Bloomberg survey, and is the fastest pace of growth since the final quarter of 2016.

Kenyan Economy Grows Most Since 2016 as Good Weather Boosts Crop

Kenya’s economy grew 4.9 percent in 2017, the slowest pace in five years, after a drought and general elections impeded the world’s largest shipper of black tea and curbed output of corn, a staple. Agriculture in Kenya, which supplies about a third of the flowers sold in the European Union, contributes about 30 percent to the country’s total output.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Agricultural output expanded 5.2 percent from a year earlier in the quarter, the most since the second quarter of 2016
  • Tea production rose 11 percent
  • Manufacturing grew 2.3 percent, the most since the third quarter of 2016
  • The real-estate industry expanded 6.8 percent, the most in five quarters

Kenya’s inflation accelerated for the second month to 4.3 percent as utilities drove price increases, the statistics agency said earlier today.

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