Kenya’s real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 6.8% year-on-year in Q1 2022, the highest first quarter level in 12 years, according to data issued by the Kenya National Bureau of statistics (KNBS).
The 6.8% growth is the fastest first quarter growth since 2010 when GDP expanded by 7.3% between January and March. At the same time, the Q1 GDP numbers are still below the rates reported in the second and third quarter of 2021.
During the first three months of the year, the economic output was valued at Sh 3.3 Trillion, against Sh 2.96 Trillion posted in the first quarter of 2021.
The GDP growth was mainly attributed to the country’s increased activity in the financial services industry which grew by 14.4% from 9.9% in the previous quarter.
In the first three months of 2022, the agricultural sector contracted by 0.7% compared to a growth of 0.4% in Q1 2021. Data from the agency showed that there was a massive decline in horticultural exports and tea production.
Despite an increase in cement production by 26%, the construction sector grew by 6.4% compared to a growth of 6.8% in Q1 2021.
The manufacturing sector posted a growth of 3.7% compared to a growth of 2.1% in the first three months of 2021. At the same time, KNBS noted that credit advanced to the manufacturing sector was up 9.1% to Sh 1.4 Trillion.
The transport industry posted a growth of 8.1% versus a contraction of 7.9% in Q1 2021. International visitor arrivals through Kenya’s two main airports almost doubled (85%) from 121,739 in Q1 2021 to 225,321 in Q1 2022.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s annual inflation rate rose 7.9% in June from 7.1% in May. The current rate is the highest level since August 2017 and exceeds the target range of the central bank’s for the first time in nearly five years.