Inside Politics

Business leaders optimistic about Kenya’s economic recovery: survey

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021 12:58 |
Central Bank of Kenya Photo/Courtesy

Kenya's business leaders were optimistic that the country's economy would bounce back in the next 12 months boosted by COVID-19 recovery measures, according to a survey released by the country's central bank.

The Central Bank of Kenya said its latest Monetary Policy Committee CEOs Survey showed that the optimism was mainly attributed to post COVID-19 bounce-back, companies shifting to more digitization, and anticipated increase in exports following improved relations in East African Community countries. Kenya, together with Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda, make up the East African Community which launched a common market in 2010. The survey also showed that services and manufacturing sectors saw the strongest prospects for higher growth as respondents reported a general upward trend in business activity.

Despite the optimism, the business leaders were concerned over the possibility of a fourth COVID-19 wave in the country with the probability of new variants which would lead to more lockdowns and dampen investor confidence. The survey, which was conducted in May, targeted executives of 230 private sector firms in Kenya's key industries including agriculture, mining and energy, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, information and communications technology, transport and storage, real estate, pharmaceuticals, building and construction, and finance and insurance. The central bank said sectors covered in the survey account for over 74 percent of Kenya's gross domestic product.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in mid-May that economic recovery is underway in Kenya and the easing of the COVID-19 third wave in the country suggests activity should continue picking up. However, the IMF noted the pickup will be less strong than anticipated due to the pandemic, revising its forecast for Kenya's economic growth in 2021 downward to 6.3 percent from an earlier projection of 7.6 percent.

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