The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has released the economic performance report for the first and second quarters of 2021.

According to the report, economic growth decelerated in the first quarter of 2021 to 0.7 per cent compared to 4.4 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2020. 

The country’s GDP has realized a 10.1 per cent growth during the second quarter of the financial year as the economy has sprung back to life.

This is according to the economic data released by the National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.

The CS attributed the growth to the resumption of normal operations in the transport and reopening of learning institutions, which are the leading contributors.

Yatani also said that judging by the performance, the outlook of 2021 looks promising.

“The outlook for 2021 looks encouraging going by this performance. The Bureau is currently working on the 3rd Quarter GDP estimates that will be released soon,’’ Yatani said.

Various sectors supported the overall growth of the economy in the second quarter. These include Education - 67.6 per cent, Information and communication - 25.2 per cent, Transport and storage - 16.9 per cent and Other services collectively brought in 20.2 per cent.

However, the report said there was a reduction of activity in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector in both the first and second quarters of the year.

A 0.9 per cent decrease was realized in the second quarter of 2021 in contrast to the 4.9 per cent growth in the second quarter of the year 2020.

During the review period, a 6.7 per cent expansion in the food sub-sector was realized as the manufacture of tobacco products, bakery products and dairy products saw a reasonable growth. 

Meanwhile, the production of non-food products increased by 12.2 per cent.

The motor vehicle assembly industry has grown by 10 per cent and manufacturing iron sheets increased by 34.5 per cent while the manufacture of paper registered a 13.5 per cent growth.

Credit advanced to enterprises in manufacturing activity declined by 0.9 per cent to stand at Sh1.26 trillion.

In the electricity and water supply sectors, a 5.2 per cent growth materialized in contrast to last year’s 4.7 per cent contraction in the second quarter.

The construction sector was significantly slower in the second quarter, recording a growth of 6.5 per cent, 1.7 per cent lower than 2020’s 8.2 per cent. However, consumption of cement increased by 29.3 per cent.

Another sector that experienced an increase from the previous year’s corresponding quarter is the transport and storage sector. The sector recorded a 16.9 per cent growth slightly greater than last year’s 16.8 per cent.

The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on movement both within and without the country, which prevailed in the second quarter of 2020 occasioned the growth.

Transportation of goods on the SGR increased by 25.9 per cent to reach 1,326 thousand metric tonnes and the transportation of passengers through the SGR also increased to 304,445 from last year's 6,363.

The finance and insurance sector also gained during the quarter by 9.9 per cent in comparison to the corresponding period in 2020, which only registered a 4.4 per cent growth.

The hospitality industry suffered the most because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It registered only a 9.1 per cent growth in the second quarter of 2021 to 56.8 per cent contraction in the corresponding quarter of 2020. The sector has realized tremendous improvement with the lifting of the bans.

Net foreign assets reduced from Sh887.4 billion in the second quarter of last year to Sh781.9 billion by end of June 2021.

The broad money supply increased from Sh3.9 trillion at end of June 2020 to Sh4.1 trillion at end of June 2021.