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Kenya economy grows by nearly 4pc in Q1

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2 – Kenya’s economy recorded a 3.9 percent Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2009, a report from the Central Bureau of Statistics indicates.

This is compared to a contraction of 0.6 percent during the same quarter of 2008.

The improved GDP growth was attributed to a rebound of economic activities which remained subdued throughout 2008 on account of several factors resulting to a low base for the current quarter.

“The growth in real GDP in the first quarter is primarily a culmination of rebound of activities in wholesale and retail trade, transport and communications, construction, and hotels and restaurants,” the report indicated.

“In addition, agriculture and forestry recorded a smaller contraction of 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to a substantial decline of 6.1 percent in the same quarter of 2008 and therefore its impact on the overall growth was less detrimental.”

The report further indicates that the economy also benefited from a substantial drop in fuel prices during the quarter under review compared to a similar period of 2008.

However, sluggish domestic demand, low investment and inflationary pressures restrained the economy from attaining its potential growth.

Hotels and restaurants, and construction recorded the most notable growths of 59 percent and 30.7 percent respectively during the first quarter of 2009 compared to a contraction of 53.3 percent and growth of 3.9 percent respectively, during similar period in 2008.

During the quarter, value added of mining and quarrying contracted by 7.9 percent primarily due to substantial decline in production of soda ash.

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