Kenya’s economic growth slows to 5.4pc as formal job creation shrinks

Kenya’s economic growth slowed down to 5.4 percent across 2019 from 6.3 percent in 2018, new data shows.

The data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows a widespread slowdown in key sector across the board.

Agriculture output for instance fell sharply to 3.6 percent from six percent in 2018 as suppressed long rains disrupted the normal planting season in key agricultural zones.

The manufacturing sector meanwhile slowed to 3.2 percent from 4.3 percent as the sector took a hit from the constrained supply of raw materials.

“The growth albeit slower than 2018 was widespread across all sectors of the economy but was more pronounced in service oriented sectors,” Treasury CS Ukur Yatani said at the release of the survey on Tuesday.

However, a number of sectors defied the decelaration trend with the Finance and Insurance sectors marking an improved 6.6 percent growth in 2019 from 5.3 percent in 2018.

The economy further added 846,300 new jobs in the period but marked a slowdown in the creation of formal jobs.

Jobs created in the modern sector decelerated to 2.4 percent from 2.8 percent or an equivalent 67,800 jobs.

The informal sector continued to anchor job creation adding 767,900 new jobs from 744,100 roles in 2018.

Jobs created in the public topped 2.6 percent while those in the private sector grew by a lesser 2.3 percent.

Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell shy of the Ksh.10 trillion mark to stand at Ksh.9.74 trillion.