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Kenya Trade Deficit Widens

Kenya Trade Deficit WidensKenya Trade Deficit Widens

Kenya’s trade deficit widened to a record Sh946.8 billion ($9.18 billion) in the 10 months to October driven by the doubling of food imports and purchase of machinery from abroad. The deficit, the gap between imports and exports, widened by Sh265.36 billion compared to the similar period last year, fresh data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows, underlining the country’s continued reliance on imports amid a near flat growth in exports, AllAfrica reported. This is the first time in three years the deficit has widened and it shows the impact of increased food imports due to drought that posed a major risk to people, livestock and wildlife. Imports grew 23% to Sh1.45 trillion in the 10 months while exports grew a measly 2.4% to Sh498.3 billion. Analysts say the widening deficit is putting pressure on the shilling against global currencies like the dollar and denying Kenya an opportunity to create more jobs because domestic market is losing to foreign manufacturers.

 

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