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World Bank cuts Kenya's 2017 growth forecast to 5.5 percent

Apr 13, 2017

The World Bank cut Kenya's economic growth forecast for this year by half a percentage point on Wednesday to 5.5 percent, citing drought, sluggish private sector credit growth and rising prices of oil.

The country is estimated to have expanded by 5.9 percent last year, the highest annual expansion in half a decade.

But the outlook has been hit by months of dry weather, that left 2.7 million people in need of food aid, and a drop in annual private sector credit growth to 4 percent in February from 17 percent at the end of 2015.

In its latest report on the Kenyan economy, the World Bank said growth would pick up after this year, driven by the expected normalisation of rainfall, a firmer global economy, a rebound in tourism and the resolution of challenges curbing credit growth.

"GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 5.8 percent and 6.1 percent in 2018 and 2019 respectively," the Bank said.

The main risks facing the economy were the weather and any slowdown in economies of major trading partners, the bank said.

It urged the government to stick to its fiscal consolidation path and to review last year's changes to the banking law, which capped commercial lending rates at 4 percentage points above the central bank rate.

Henry Rotich, the finance minister, set the deficit for the fiscal year starting in July at 6 percent of economic output and promised to reduce it further towards 4 percent in the 2019/20 fiscal year.

2017Source: Reuters

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