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The central Bank of Kenya FILE


Kenya’s trade deficit widens 28 pc in Q1 on faster imports

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – A faster rise in machinery and manufactured goods imports widened Kenya’s trade deficit by 28 percent in the first quarter this year, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.

The deficit rose to 317 billion shillings (2.93 billion U.S. dollars) in the period under review from 247.78 billion shillings in the first quarter last year.

The value of imports in the period stood at 4.69 billion dollars, while exports at 1.76 billion dollars, said the Central Bank.

The imports in the quarter surged 19 percent as exports rose by 6 percent.

The value of machinery imports in the quarter stood at 1.09 billion shillings, a rise of 92.5 million dollars.

The faster rise in machinery imports is attributed to various infrastructure projects the east African nation is undertaking, mainly in the transport sector.

Kenya is building the Nairobi expressway, a 27 km road that is set to cut travel time from south of the capital to west from two hours to 20 minutes.

On the other hand, the county is refurbishing its old meter-gauge railway to improve the transport network.

Kenya’s main exports include horticultural produce, tea and coffee, which have been slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic that has hurt international trade

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