September 28, 2018 / 11:32 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Kenya GDP growth at 6.3 pct yr/yr in Q2 2018

(Adds details, background)

NAIROBI, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Kenya’s economy expanded faster in the second quarter of this year than in the same period last year due to better performance in agriculture, manufacturing, accommodation and food services, the statistics office said on Friday.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said the economy grew 6.3 percent year-on-year from 4.7 percent in the second quarter 2017.

It said the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector grew 5.6 percent compared from 0.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017, helped by improved weather.

“The sector’s performance was mainly supported by substantial increases in output of growing of crops and animal production sub-sectors,” KNBS said.

Manufacturing grew by 3.1 percent from a 0.2 percent contraction in second quarter 2017.

“The improvement in the sector was partly attributable to agro-processing activities that benefited substantially from increased agricultural production during the period under review,” the statistics office said.

It said accommodation and food service activities grew by 15.7 percent from 12.6 percent in second quarter 2017. The sector includes the tourism industry.

“The increased activity in the sector was mainly attributable to improved security situation, stable political environment in the country and aggressive marketing strategies undertaken by the government,” it said.

However, financial and insurance activities slowed to a growth of 2.3 percent from 3.5 percent, while construction expanded at a slower 9.5 percent from 6.1 percent.

The government forecasts a the economy will expand by 6.2 percent in 2019, up from a forecast 6.0 percent this year. (Reporting by George Obulutsa Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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