Kenya GDP growth seen at 5.9pc in 2016, 6pc in 2017 - World Bank

Thursday March 31 2016

A worker packs flowers for export at Finlays in Naivasha, Nakuru County on February 10, 2015. Flower production has fallen by over 20 per cent due to rains that have been pounding Naivasha and its environs. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A worker packs flowers for export at Finlays in Naivasha, Nakuru County on February 10, 2015. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By REUTERS
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Kenya's economy is expected to expand this year and next, helped by low oil prices, improved agricultural output, supportive monetary policy and ongoing infrastructure investments, the World Bank said on Thursday.

However, the bank said growth could be held back by domestic factors related to the country's next presidential election, scheduled for August 2017.

"These include the possibility that investors could defer investment decisions until after the elections, that election-related expenditure could result in a cut back in infrastructure spending, and that security remains a threat, not just in Kenya, but globally," the bank said in a statement on its website.

The bank said it forecast Kenya's gross domestic product would expand 5.9 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2017, from 5.6 percent last year.

"The most recent Kenya Economic Update ... attributes this positive outlook to low oil prices, good agriculture performance, supportive monetary policy, and ongoing infrastructure investments," it said ahead of the report's launch in Nairobi.

At its last economic update for Kenya in October, the bank forecast economic growth of 5.7 percent in 2016.

The East African nation's government expects the economy to grow 6.0 to 6.5 percent in 2016, from 5.3 percent in 2014.