M a r k e t N e w s

IMF Puts Kenya Growth At 5.6 Percent

Posted on : Wednesday , 20th January 2016

 Kenya's economy will grow at 5.6% slower than earlier projected, but several major infrastructure projects will help to shore up its prospects.

 
'The economy is projected to continue to expand robustly, although at a slower-than-projected pace. Real GDP is projected to grow by 5.6 percent in 2015 driven by public infrastructure spending, buoyant credit growth, and strong consumer demand,' Vitaliy Kramarenko who recently led an International Monetary Fund team said in a statement.
 
The team visited Nairobi between December 2 and16, 2015, to conduct discussions on the second review of the authorities' economic program supported under a 12-month precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) and a 12-month Standby Credit Facility (SCF) arrangement for the period of February 2, 2015-February 1, 2016. Early last year, the IMF Board approved a $688.3million credit for Kenya.
 
However Kramarenko cautioned, 'But the growth acceleration in 2015 is slower than projected under the program, due to delays in planned road infrastructure spending, weaker tourism receipts, and volatile external capital flows.
 
At the same time, inflation rose to 7.3 percent in November, close to the upper end of the authorities' target range.
 
He said real GDP growth is projected to accelerate to about six percent in 2016 on account of the continuation of strong investment momentum, effects of good rain on agriculture, and a pick-up in tourism following removal of travel advisories from major tourism source markets.
 
'Kenya's growing integration in global financial markets has created significant opportunities, but has also made the country more exposed to global market developments. Although the external current account deficit is projected to decline to 8.5 percent of GDP in 2015 (from 10.4 percent in 2014), it remains high and requires significant foreign capital inflows to be financed. Despite significant volatility of external capital flows in 2015, gross international reserves remain adequate at 4 months of projected 2016 imports,' he said.
 
He discussions focused on the appropriate policy mix in support of the authorities' objective of fostering inclusive, investment-driven growth while maintaining macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability.
 
There was also broad agreement that the macroeconomic policies will need to be prudent, in order to contain inflation within the target range, maintain public debt on a sustainable path, and further reduce the current account deficit.
 
Moreover, the mission welcomed the authorities' plans to accelerate structural reforms aimed at strengthening the efficiency and transparency of public spending, supporting the transition to a modern inflation targeting framework, reinforcing banking supervision and regulation, and improving the quality of macroeconomic statistics, including fiscal reporting.

Source : allafrica.com
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