September 30, 2019 / 2:48 PM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Kenya's economic growth slows to 5.6% in the second quarter

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NAIROBI, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Kenya’s economy grew by 5.6% in the second quarter of this year, down from expanding 6.4% in the same period a year earlier, the statistics office said on Monday.

It attributed the deceleration in growth to a slowdown in the key farming sector, which accounts for close to a third of output, manufacturing and transportation.

“Agriculture’s performance as well as that of electricity and water supply were mostly hampered by a delay in the onset of the long rains,” the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in a report.

Farming, which includes forestry and fishing, grew by 4.1% during the period, down from 6.5% a year earlier.

The governor of the central bank Patrick Njoroge last week maintained a full year growth forecast of 6%, citing robust bookings in the tourism sector.

The bank will review its forecast after Monday’s release of the second quarter data, he said.

With a well-diversified economy that does not depend on a single commodity or sector, the East African nation has enjoyed rapid growth rates in recent years, but critics say the growth is not enough to lift many citizens out of biting poverty.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Ed Osmond

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