Kenya’s economy expanded by Sh790 billion to hit Sh11.2 trillion in the year since it recorded the first case of Covid-19.
According to estimates by the National Treasury, this was, however, slower growth compared to an expansion of gross domestic product (GDP) - or the national cake - by Sh870 billion in the year to March 2020, reflecting the corrosive effect of the pandemic on the country’s productivity.
The estimates are contained in the National Treasury’s Quarterly Economic and Budget Review for the third quarter of the current financial year ending June. The report reviews government’s revenues and expenditure for a given period.
“The bureau acknowledges the role of our users in providing invaluable feedback to our production processes and look forward to the same engagement during this period,” he said.
“The report will be disseminated at the earliest opportunity once the process is completed.”
As at March this year, GDP per capita, or the average value contributed by each Kenyan, was estimated at Sh238,297 compared to Sh225,622 in March 2020.
This means that the economy might have escaped severe battering hit by the pandemic amid partial lockdowns, curfews and other rules that affected sectors such as tourism, transport and education.
In his Madaraka Day speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta estimated the size of Kenya’s national cake at Sh10.3 trillion. Treasury puts the GDP at Sh11.17 trillion.
Much of the growth might have been supported by increased public spending. Fearing a total breakdown, the government injected some money into the economy through road construction, cash transfers, and the Kazi Mtaani youth employment programme, all of which might have softened the pandemic’s blow.
The National Treasury estimates that the economy grew by 0.6 per cent last year, an improvement following two successive negative growths in the second and third quarters.
Some forecasters, however, estimate that the economy might have shrunk last year.
President Kenyatta’s administration is keen to get the economy out of the Covid-19 rut with a Sh3.6 trillion budget that aims to vanquish the disease and get businesses and workers back to the market.