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Experts see Kenyan economy growing at slower pace than Uganda’s

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich has projected a growth of between 5.5 and six per cent. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Treasury secretary Henry Rotich has projected a growth of between 5.5 and six per cent. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s economy is expected to grow at a slower pace than Uganda’s this year, researchers at Oxford Economics have said.

In Kenya, growth will be driven by recovery after a period of uncertainty relating to the elections while in Uganda it will be spurred by stronger farming activities, the analysts said.

The research firm, affiliated to UK’s Oxford University, said yesterday that landlocked Uganda’s economy was likely to expand at a faster pace of six per cent compared to Kenya’s 5.7 per cent.

Oxford estimated Kenya’s growth in 2017 at 5.1 per cent, which was above a consensus of 4.8 per cent, while its five per cent growth estimate for Uganda was also above a consensus of 4.6 per cent.

The report, commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), projects that Kenya’s growth in 2018 will trail East Africa’s average of six per cent.

“The period of political uncertainty that plagued Kenya’s economy is gradually fading and this bodes well for the country’s economic prospects,” regional director of ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia Michael Armstrong said in a statement.

“However, Kenya still has some distance to go before it matches the growth seen in other EAC nations.”

Tanzania and Ethiopia’s economies are forecast to expand by 6.9 and 7.5 per cent respectively, making them among the fastest growing countries on the continent.

Oxford’s growth outlook for Kenya this year is higher than a consensus forecast of about 5.3 per cent by about 17 local and global firms.

A monthly consensus forecast by FocusEconomics – a Barcelona-based economic analysis firm which tracks growth projection from 11 global leading banks, consultancies and think-tanks – last Tuesday put Kenya’s growth outlook at 5.3 per cent.

World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund have projected a growth of 5.5 per cent for Kenya this year. Treasury secretary Henry Rotich has projected a growth of between 5.5 and six per cent, while Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge has been the most bullish in his forecast at 6.2 per cent.

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