Lapse Of COVID-19 Restrictions Lifts Economic Growth By 6.8pc In Quarter To March

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The lapse of most COVID-19 restrictions at the end of October last year continued to drive the momentum for economic growth with Kenya’s GDP expanding by 6.8 per cent between January and March.

The rate of the growth is the quickest in more than five years over the same quarter and higher than the 2.7 per cent GDP expansion posted in the same period last year.

Accomodation and Food Service Activities grew the most at 56.2 per cent in the first quarter that experienced the momentum created by the lifting of the night curfew for the first time since March 2020.

Other sectors to register notable growth in the quarter were transport and storage 8.1 per cent and administrative and support services at 14.9 per cent.

Other service activities also rose by 11.1 per cent across the three months.

“The performance was supported by rebounds in most economic activities that had contracted significantly in the first quarter of 2021,” KNBS stated on Friday.

The manufacturing sector expanded by 3.4 per cent in the quarter from 2.1 per cent in the previous corresponding quarter.

Meanwhile, the construction sector expanded by a lower 6.4 per cent compared to 6.8 per cent last year.

Likewise, growth in electricity and water supply decelerated to 1.9 per cent from 3.6 per cent while transport and storage rebounded by 8.1 per cent from a contraction of 7.9 per cent last year.

Financial intermediation meanwhile exceeded growth in the first quarter of 2021 to record an 14.4 per cent lift in contrast to 11.8 per cent.

The agriculture sector has however continued its dismal run contracting by a further 0.7 per cent in the first quarter.

“The contraction was mainly attributed to depressed rainfall during the fourth quarter of 2021 as well as delayed onset of rains during the quarter under review,” KNBS added.

The depressed rainfall affected the productivity of tea and horticulture products including fruits and vegetables. 

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