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Country Forecast Kenya February 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Kenya February 2018 Updater

  • February 2018
  • ID: 5337010

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  • The inauguration of Uhuru Kenyatta for a second five-year term on November 28th, following a rerun of the presidential election in October, signals an improvement in political stability.
  • Sociopolitical tensions will persist, however, after the opposition National Super Alliance and its presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, boycotted the rerun, citing a lack of reforms, and launched a broader campaign of non-co-operation. The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that the risk of widespread violence is small (apart from periodic clashes between opposition supporters and the police) but that political divisions will complicate governance and policymaking.
  • Apart from inter-party conflict, other key threats to stability are security risks associated with terrorism (and ethnic rivalries), and institutional turf wars arising from reforms in the new constitution. A clearer separation of powers and the devolution of authority to the county-level may boost accountability over time, but are fuelling power struggles between and within the various arms of government.
  • Growth will quicken slightly to 5.3% in 2018 (from a provisional 5.1% in 2017), helped by an end to electoral uncertainty, which stifled activity. Nonetheless, slow credit growth will persist, pending an amendment to a controversial rate cap. We expect growth to accelerate to 5.8% a year on average in 2019-22, barring drought, driven by higher public and private investment and stronger household demand.
  • Inflation is expected to retreat to 5.5% in 2018, provided rainfall is satisfactory, from a five-year high of 8% in 2017, when food prices soared in the wake of drought. We expect inflation to range between 6.2% and 6.9% in 2019-22, and to average 6.5% a year during the period.
  • Kenya's business environment will become more accommodating during the forecast period, underpinned by pro-market reforms such as deregulation, the formation of public-private partnerships and trade liberalisation. However, structural deficiencies, including infrastructure bottlenecks and skills shortages, will persist.
  • Rising disposable income per head will fuel demand for retailing (including groceries and durable goods)-creating new openings for manufacturers and importers-and for a wide array of services, such as telecommunications, banking, insurance, health and recreation.


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