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NAIROBI, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Kenya’s economy expanded faster in the third quarter of this year than in the same period last year due to strong performance in the agriculture and construction sectors, the statistics office said on Monday.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said the economy grew 6 percent in the third quarter of 2018, compared with 4.7 percent in the same period in 2017.
It said the agriculture sector expanded by 5.2 percent compared with 3.7 percent in the third quarter of 2017, helped by better weather.
“Prices of key food crops remained low during the quarter compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017, an indication of relative stability in supply,” KNBS said.
Manufacturing grew by 3.2 percent from a 0.1 percent contraction in the third quarter of 2017, KNBS said.
It said that the electricity and water supply sector grew by 8.5 percent from 4.5 percent in the third quarter of 2017, mainly due to a big increase in the generation of electricity from hydro and geothermal sources.
Gross foreign reserves increased to 1,222.5 billion from 1,085.6 billion in the same period of last year.
The current account deficit narrowed by 23 percent to 116 billion Kenyan shillings ($1.14 billion), it said.
This was mainly due to lower imports of food and higher value of exports of goods and services.
The government forecasts that the economy will expand by 6.2 percent in 2019, up from a forecast 6.0 percent this year. ($1 = 101.7500 Kenyan shillings)
Reporting by Maggie Fick; Editing by John Stonestreet and Alison Williams