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CBK says economy to ride out political uncertainty

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge says that save for speed bumps due to depressed spending and production the economy will ride out the current political uncertainty/MOSES MUOKI 

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 19 – The economy is unlikely to suffer adverse effects due to the political uncertainty over the repeat of the presidential elections.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge says that save for speed bumps due to depressed spending and production; the growth numbers remain consistent with a growth projection of 5.7pc in 2017.

“Strong growths were reported in manufacturing, wholesale and trade, accommodation and restaurants, transport, ICT…all these accounting for nearly a third of the GDP i.e a very strong services sector. That is really the story from the numbers in Q1,” said Dr. Njoroge.

Other sectors have shown resilience with tourism particularly exhibiting strong growth.

“Tourist arrivals in Jomo Kenyatta international airport are close to 2013 levels with July arrivals almost at 100,000. But what is interesting is that even as we have recovered substantially in Nairobi (due to business travelers and conferences), arrivals in Mombasa remain depressed,” adds Dr. Njoroge.

He, however, says the drought has been the more significant risk impacting on agricultural sector which contracted to 1.1 percent in quarter one of 2017, ultimately restricting Q1 growth to 4.7 percent.

Quarter two numbers are expected to be released at the end of September which will paint a clearer picture on the impact of the August polls on the economy.

But the Governor remains optimistic on the basis of improved rains across the country though he admits election-based inflation exerted more pressure on

“The political noise level increases then consumers will delay their decisions and this will ultimately have a knock-on effect on the economy,” says Dr. Njoroge.

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