Kenya’s gross domestic product expanded 7.5% last year on account of relaxed COVID-19 containment measures and improved vaccination which brought normalcy in key sectors of the economy.
This is the highest rate of growth for the Kenyan economy since 2010 when the gross domestic product (GDP) improved by a record 8.1 percent.
The economy was largely a beneficiary of low base effects with the reopening of various sectors after the pandemic-led closure lifted activity.
“Relaxation of various COVID-19 containment measures coupled with the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination had a positive effect on economic activities,” KNBS said on Thursday.
As such, all sectors of the economy expect agriculture to post growth across 12 months to December 2021.
There was a general decline in unemployment, wage employment recorded a growth of 6% as 172, 300 jobs were created last year.
Housing, accommodation and food services recorded the highest rate of growth at 52.5 percent from a decline of 47.7 percent in 2020 following the reopening of hotels, bars and restaurants after controlled closures to manage the spread of COVID-19 infections.
With a restart of in-person learning in schools and other educational institutions, the second-highest rate was witnessed in the education sector with 21.4 percent growth. This is coming after a decline of 9.3 percent in 2020.
Meanwhile, finance and insurance activities expanded at the third-highest rate of 12.5 percent to exceed the 5.9 percent growth rate posted in 2020.
The notable growth for the accommodation and food services sector was backed by a 50.3 percent rise in international visitor arrivals in 2021 following the ease of travel restrictions in and out of the country.
KNBS says international trade value of exports improved from Kshs 643.7 billion in 2020, to Kshs 743.7 billion in 2021 as the value of imports increased from Kshs1.6 trillion in 2020, to Kshs 2.2 trillion last year.
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