Market News

Kenya tops economic, consumer prospects

A customer picks goods from a freezer in a supermarket in Nairobi. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA  

Kenya has the highest ranking in economic, consumer and business prospects in African markets for the second year in a row, a survey by New York-based data analytics firm Nielsen Holdings Plc shows.

Nielsen Africa Prospect Indicator (APi) shows the country remains on top in the continent in the two fronts, but had also deteriorated in terms of business and retail prospects.

The indicator uses a combination of business, consumer and retail prospect data to formulate an overall country ranking.

Economic growth was lower in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year even though most analysts, including the Treasury, have put the projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate at between 5.5 and 6.0 per cent for this year.

“When drilling down to individual country performance, it becomes clear that top performer Kenya, is characterised by strong economic and consumer prospects. However, its business and retail prospects have deteriorated and GDP growth rates are lower with the economy losing steam in Quarter 1, 2019,” Nielsen Holdings said in its report.


Nielsen Holdings said African markets showed stability with the evidence that only two changed position on its latest APi ranking update.

“Amid relentless change, country prospects are stabilising on the continent. This is evidenced by the fact that only two markets changed position on the latest APi ranking update, with Kenya remaining in top position, followed by Cote d’Ivoire,” said the report.

Sub-Sahara African economic prospects compared to its GDP growth has fallen to f 2.8 percent from 3.3 per cent forecast.

The report added that Tanzania remains steady in third place on the APi ranking with improved retail prospects although these are countered by a weaker business outlook due to restrictive investment regulations and policies.

Ghana and Nigeria came at fourth and fifth places respectively in the ranking.

Overall, the retailer growth outlook is the most favourable it has been in three years, with Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Uganda ahead of the average.