, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 1 – Kenya’s third quarter 2015 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 5.8 percent compared to 5.2 percent in same period last year and 5.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015 according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
This marks the highest quarterly growth in 2015 but however the period’s growth lagged 2010-2014 average third quarter growth of 6.2 percent.
The growth was mainly driven by 14.1 percent in construction, 12.5 percent growth in mining and quarrying and 11 percent and 10.1 percent expansion in electricity supply and financial and insurance, respectively.
Supported by increased production of most major crops, the dairy sub-sector and rise in tea and coffee prices, agriculture, the single largest sector, expanded 7.1 percent up from 6.8 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and 5.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015.
During the period, macroeconomic measures remained supportive of growth – inflation eased to an average of 6.14 percent from 7.54 percent same period last year, the Kenya shilling appreciated against the euro, yen and rand and weighted interest rates on bank loans declined by 61 basis points to 15.79 percent.
During the period, the value of total exports increased by 23.2 percent while the import bill declined by 9.7 percent resulting in narrowing of the current account deficit by Sh86.5 billion.
According to Standard Investment Bank Research, going by the GDP’s performance in the first three quarters, GDP needs to grow by 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 if the country is to achieve the governments new growth forecast of 5.6 percent to 5.8 percent.