Provisional estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) show that the country’s economy expanded by 5.8 per cent during the third quarter of 2015 compared to 5.2 per cent recorded during a similar quarter of 2014 as shown in Figure 1. The growth was mainly supported by strong expansions in Agriculture; Construction; Financial and Insurance; Wholesale and Retail Trade; and Transport and Storage. Activities of the Construction industry recorded the fastest growth of 14.1 per cent followed by Mining and Quarrying, Electricity Supply and Financial and Insurance with growths of 12.5 per cent, 11.0 per cent and 10.1 per cent, respectively. Accommodation and Food Services (Hotels and Restaurants) continued on the decline that started last year.
During the quarter, most of the macroeconomic indicators remained relatively stable. Inflation eased to an average of 6.14 per cent from 7.54 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2014 mainly due to decrease in transportation costs in line with the global fall of oil prices. Globally, Murban ADNOC crude oil prices halved to average at US$ 51.05 per barrel during the quarter under review compared to US$ 103.9 in the same quarter of 2014. Domestically, the retail prices for light diesel declined by 20.0 per cent over the same period.
In the money market, the Kenyan Shilling strengthened against the Euro, Yen, South African Rand, Ugandan Shilling and the Tanzanian Shilling but weakened against the US Dollar and the Sterling Pound during the third quarter of 2015 compared to a similar period in 2014. Despite an upward revision of the Central Bank Rate (CBR), weighted interest rates on commercial banks loans and advances declined by 0.61 percentage points to average at 15.79 per cent during the quarter under review compared to 16.40 per cent in the same quarter of 2014. The CBR was adjusted from 8.50 per cent, that prevailed in the first half of 2015, to 10.0 per cent in June and later to 11.5 per cent in July 2015. The volume of stocks traded at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) declined significantly to an average of 4,251 shares compared to 5,100 shares traded during a similar quarter of 2014. During the review period, the value of total exports increased by 23.2 per cent while the import bill declined by 9.7 per cent, resulting to narrowing of the current account deficit by KSh 86.5 billion compared to the same quarter in 2014. Download Gross Domestic Product and Balance of Payments Third Quarter 2015