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Kenya's economy grows by 5.8 pct in 2016
Last Updated: 2017-04-20 08:06 | Xinhua
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Kenya's economy grew by 5.8 percent in 2016, slightly up from 5.7 percent in 2015 buoyed by tourism and ICT sectors, the national statistics bureau said on Wednesday.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) announced in the annual Economic Survey 2017 released in Nairobi that tourism was the best performer as international arrivals went up by 13.5 percent to 1.34 million in 2016 from 1.18 million in 2015.

According to the Economic Survey, revenue from the tourism sector went up by 17.8 percent to 9.97 million U.S. dollars in 2016 from 8.46 billion dollars in 2015.

Information Communication and Technology was also a major driver of the economy growing at 9.7 percent in 2016 compared to 7.4 percent growth in 2015.

KNBS Director-General Zachary Mwangi attributed the economic growth to the level of growth recorded in key economic sectors including mining, which recorded a 6.3 percent growth in mineral output from 1.6 million tonnes to 1.7 million tonnes and increased earnings from the tourism sector.

"The other sectors that registered significant improved performance in economic activity were the ICT sectors, the real estate, transport and storage," said Mwangi, reviewing activities in diverse sectors of the economy and the social and political environment.

According to the survey, the overall economic output, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has shot to 70.5 billion dollars in 2016 from 63.7 billion in 2015 due to the growth in the mining sector, the real estate and infrastructure projects under implementation.

The official said the current economic output report outlined the policies, programs and projects which the government set to implement and to deliver in order to accelerate the economic growth.

The Kenyan economy reaped from the growth in accommodation and food services, which recorded a growth of 13.3 percent after contracting 1.3 percent in 2015.

Kenya's construction sector, mining and quarrying sector recorded good results in 2016 while the financial and insurance sector recorded a slowdown in 2016.

According to the economic survey, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors recorded a decreased growth from 5.5 percent to 4 percent in 2016, partly affected by the drought, which led to a reduction in the overall output of crops.

The financial sector also recorded a decline, growing by 6.9 percent in 2016 compared to 9.4 percent growth in 2015 amid the amendment of the banking act that introduced capping of interest rates on loans in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Kenya's tea sector grew by 18 percent to 473 million tonnes while the coffee sector recorded an output of 10.8 percent to record 46.1 million tonnes.

The maize production, which is the staple food, recorded the biggest drop in production to negative 12.7 percent. The number of 90 kg bags dropped to 371 million bags while sugarcane production also recorded a slowdown to 640 tonnes.

The economic survey put a value of water resources in Kenya at 400 million U.S. dollars.

According to the survey, other factors likely to affect the economy include the continued deceleration in growth of credit to the private sector that has stabilized at 4 percent owing to the interest rate capping.

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