Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to recover to 5.3% in 2021 according to a recent NCBA Economic Outlook report. The report attributes this growth to increased activity in education at 32%, construction at 7.3%, ICT at 7.7%, health at 6% and agriculture at 4%.
The report indicated that vaccination is a major policy imperative in achieving a strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth. Depending on vaccine availability, this could enhance economic confidence confidence later in the year.
Speaking at the unveiling of the report, John Gachora, Group Managing Director, NCBA Bank said, “We see prospects for growth vary widely across sectors depending on the degree of exposure to the pandemic, scope for adaptability and policy support. COVID-19 vaccination will undoubtedly remain the main economic policy for sustained recovery, complemented by interventions from government and the Central Bank. We are glad that the government allocated Ksh. 14.3 billion towards vaccination. This may enhance coverage and confidence in the latter quarters of the year, subject to vaccine availability.”
On the flipside, economic sectors expected to register slow growth include transport and storage, manufacturing, wholesale, and retail recording 0.7%, 1.6%, 2.5% respectively. The report also predicts the country may not achieve steady immunity until 2023. As a result, this may sustain the pandemic related uncertainties.
“To complement and further support the government, the bank continues to collaborate with the government and other players through the Credit Guarantee Scheme in order to enhance access to credit by MSMEs, providing some cushion against the pandemic aftershocks. From the rigorous analysis and findings by our Economist, growth expectations could swing between 7.6% on a more optimistic scenario and 3.2% on a worst case. This reflects the persistent uncertainty presented by the pandemic and underscores the need for flexibility and continued support from the government and the Central Bank,” concluded Mr. Gachora.