The economy grew by 5.8 per cent in 2016 and 832,900 new jobs were created, Economic Survey 2017 indicates.
This was an expansion on the country’s Gross Domestic Product which grew by 5.7 per cent in 2015.
World Bank had projected that Kenya’s GDP growth would decelerate to 5.5 per cent, a 0.5 percentage point mark down from the 2016 forecast.
Country Director for Kenya Diarietou Gaye said the dampening of the GDP was due to the ongoing drought that has led to crop failure, dying herds of livestock, and increased food insecurity.
But the survey revealed that the number of jobs remained less than the 841,000 created in 2015. Informal jobs in the manufacturing sector increased by 30,080.
Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri attributed the growth to good performance in the agriculture and tourism sectors.
While presenting the report by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics at the KICC in Nairobi on Wednesday, Kiunjuri said the good performance was registered in the first three-quarters of the year.
Exports of tea, the country’s top product, increased to 473,000 tonnes in 2016 compared to 389,000 tonnes in 2015. Coffee rose to 46,000 tonnes from 41,600 tonnes the previous year.
The report showed the manufacturing sector’s growth dropped to 3.5 per cent in 2016 compared to 3.6 per cent in 2015.
In the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors, growth decreased from 5.5 per cent in 2015 to 4.0 per cent.
The building and construction sectors recorded slow growth and a reduction to 9.2 per cent compared to 13.9 per cent in 2015. The tourism sector bounced back recording a 13.5 per cent growth.
Total international arrivals increased to 1.34 million in 2016 from 1.18 million the previous year. Tourism industry earnings increased to Sh99.7 billion, compared to Sh84.6 billion.