World Economy

Kenya’s Trade Deficit Up 31%

Kenya’s Trade Deficit Up 31%Kenya’s Trade Deficit Up 31%

Increased need for food and petroleum products in Kenya has worsened the country’s trade deficit which widened by 31.1% in the third quarter of 2017 to hit Sh306 billion ($2.96 billion). Data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show that Kenya’s import bill rose by 20.3% to Sh450.9 billion during the review period, Yahoo reported. This is a relatively faster rate in comparison to the value of total exports which grew 2.76% to Sh145 billion. A trade deficit, also known as the current account deficit, means the value of imports is greater than the value of exports. “This was mainly on account of increased imports valued on free on board basis that was driven by growth in the import bill of food and petroleum products in the third quarter of 2017,” KNBS said in its quarterly balance of payment report for third quarter 2017. Reeling in from the effects of a drought that prolonged to the first quarter of 2017, the government authorized duty-free maize imports from May 2017 under a Sh6 billion subsidy program.


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