The Kenyan economy has shown signs of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic after posting a 10.1 percent growth in the second quarter (April-June) of this year helped by rebound in activities in the manufacturing, financial, transport and the hospitality sectors.
But macroeconomic indicators are pointing to the need to cushion the economy further from shocks related to the pandemic, which has continued to ravage most sectors of the economy, according to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
Government figures shows that the country’s gross domestic product for the three months period to June grew by 10.1 percent from a contraction of 4.7 percent in the same period last year.
Economic growth for the first quarter (January-March) this year decelerated to 0.7 percent from 4.4 percent in the same period last year.
According to the statistics body growth in the second quarter of 2021 was supported by rebounds in most economic activities from significant contractions in the same period last year.
The growth recorded was mainly as result of easing of Covid-19 containment measures that facilitated gradual resumption of economic activity.
Manufacturing sector grew by 9.6 per cent compared to a contraction of 4.7 per cent in the same period last year while Transportation and Storage sector grew by 16.9 per cent from a contraction of 16.8 per cent.
Financial and insurance activities accelerated by 9.9 percent compared to a growth of 4.4 percent in the same period last year.
According to the report Accommodation and Food Service activities recorded a gradual rebound from a consistent contraction reported in the last three quarters of 2020.
The sector grew by 9.1 percent in the second quarter of 2021 compared with 56.8 percent contraction in the same period last year.
This sector was the most hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 through cessation of movement in some regions culminating into a significant decline in number of visitor arrivals by over 99 per cent, scaling down of hotel operations and in some cases closure of some facilities in the second quarter of 2020.
On the other hand agriculture, forestry and fishing sector contracted by 0.9 per cent from a growth of 4.9 percent in the same period last year While construction sector growth slowed to 6.5 percent from 8.2 per cent.
During the period under review the Kenyan shilling depreciated against all major international trading currencies except the Yen while inflation increased to 5.98 percent from an average of 5.31 percent mainly on account of significant surge in prices of agricultural produce due to the unfavourable weather.
The current account deficit widened by 28.2 percent to Ksh110.1 billion ($991.89 million) from Ksh85.9 billion ($773.87 million) in the same period last year.