The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) compiles Balance of Payments (BOP) statistics in line with the international compilation standards and methods. The current compilation standard is the Sixth Edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) which is in use. Balance of Payments is a statistical statement that shows transactions between residents and nonresidents during a given period. The BOP statistics summarises transactions in goods, services, primary and secondary income, capital account and financial items between an economy and the rest of world. These statistics assists an economy in assessing its ability to meet its external financial needs.
The third quarter 2016 BOP statistical release is a standalone, a departure from the past, where BOP statistics were included in the quarterly Gross Domestic Product publication. This has been necessitated by the growing demand by users for more detailed BOP statistics. Balance of Payments Summary
The current account deficit narrowed by 10.4 per cent from KSh 112,377 million in the third quarter of 2015 to KSh 100,687 million in the corresponding quarter of 2016. Merchandise trade balance, which significantly influence the current account balance, expanded by 2.3 per cent to a deficit of KSh 217,999 million in the third quarter of 2016 reflecting a faster decrease in exports compared to the decrease in imports on f.o.b basis. Net earnings from international trade in services increased by 69.8 per cent to KSh 34,745 million.
The increase was on account of increased travel receipts boosted by conference tourism during the third quarter of 2016. The surplus in the travel account more than doubled from KSh 12,281 million in the third quarter of 2015 to KSh 25,868 million in the corresponding quarter of 2016. Remittance inflows from Kenyans living in the diaspora continued to grow during the quarter under review to register KSh 43,569 million from KSh 40,627 million in the third quarter of 2015.
The improvement in the services account during the quarter under review contributed to the narrowing of the current account deficit. 3 1.4. Net financial inflows went up by 3.2 per cent from KSh 157,615 million in the third quarter of 2015 to KSh 162,578 million in the third quarter of 2016. This was partly as a result of disbursements towards the Standard Gauge Railway. Gross official reserves increased to KSh 830.6 billion as at the end of third quarter of 2016 from KSh 706.7 billion recorded as at the end of the third quarter of 2015. Download Third Quarter 2016 BOP Report