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World Bank projects growth in Kenya’s economy

JKIA-NEW-TERMINALNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – The World Bank estimates Kenya’s economy to grow by 5 percent this year up from 4.6 percent in 2012.

The bank’s country economist John Randa says the growth will be attributed to the continued low inflation, stable exchange rates and manageable fiscal deficit.

If achieved, this will be the highest level since 2010 when the economy grew by 5.8 percent.

“There was little volatility in international oil prices and rainfall was adequate which helped stabilize both food and energy prices,” Randa said while presenting the Kenya Economic Update report 2013 on Tuesday.

According to the report, 4.7 percent growth in the first half of 2013 was driven by the robust performance of the agriculture and industry sectors.

The period saw a rebound in agricultural output at a rate of 6.7 percent as a result of above average rainfall which boosted crop production.

“The uptick reflected much better climatic conditions than in 2012, when frost adversely affected tea production,” Randa said.

The manufacturing sector grew by 4.2 percent, electricity and water by 7.9 percent, construction by 9.8 percent and mining and quarrying by 5.4 percent during the first half.

However, the services sector was subdued, growing at an annual rate of 4 percent down from 4.8 percent during the same period last year.

Kenya’s performance is weak for East Africa, but the report indicated that this was commendable given the country’s history of low growth during election years.

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Kenya is at third position in the region, behind Tanzania and Rwanda whose economies are both expected to grow by 7 percent.

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Average annual growth in the last five years was 4.4percent, much lower than in Uganda at 5.6 percent, 6.6 percent in Tanzania and 7.3 percent in Rwanda.

Going forward, the bank has urged the government to among other challenges, address the issue of poor utilisation of funds set for development which continue to affect the economy.

“We have had a lot of discussions on the issues of tenders because we know some take longer than expected. This is something we don’t want our government to be associated with,” Deputy President pledged while launching and receiving the report.

In the last 2011/2012 financial year, government ministries and departments failed to spend a total of Sh101.6 billion.

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