Economy, Finance and Trade: Kenya

March 2021

In 2020, Kenya’s economic growth slowed down considerably, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus. The effects of the crisis are likely to pose long-term challenges, including a rise in poverty and unemployment. Kenya’s government altered fiscal and monetary policies in response to the health crisis. However, lower public revenues, and increased debt and deficit are likely to remain a challenge over the medium term.

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The Country Briefings series examine market potential, economic and consumer trends impacting each country and how they are set to change.

Each Country Briefing covers one of these topics:

Economy, Finance and Trade: Understanding the structure, health and potential risks of an economy are important for decision-making within an existing operating environment as well as for expansion strategies. Real GDP growth, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations will directly impact consumer market potential. Import and export trade profiles help gauge how open an economy is to trade and investment, while analysis of government finances can be used to explore macroeconomic stability and susceptibility to economic shocks.

Income and Expenditure: Insights into income, wealth and expenditure of consumers are vital in helping businesses make strategic decisions with regards to which country (or even which region within a country) to enter, which consumer segment to target, which products or services to market, and at which price point. Other factors such as the size and expansion of the middle class and income inequality are also important in helping companies gauge the potential of a country market.

Households: Global shifts in gender, ageing, migration and housing are transforming the size, location,  general make-up as well as income and expenditure of households around the globe, with diverse implications for governments and companies. Households insights can help identify the decision-making processes and consumption tastes of different household groups and types within a country, and assess household appliance and digital readiness that is key for formulating market technology and internet strategies.

Business Dynamics: A stable and competitive business environment is vital to operate efficiently and attract inward investment. Businesses can assess these factors alongside challenges such as corruption, political instability and terrorism, also gain insight into business operating environment and make strategic investment decisions. Transport infrastructure, ICT readiness and labour force dynamics will also identify potential issues with a supply chain and the level of workforce skills.

Sustainability: Insights on key sectors directly related to the environmental sustainability of a country such as energy, water, pollution, environmental resilience, forest and biodiversity and food and agriculture help businesses to make strategic decisions in relation to environmental and sustainability trends, improve brand reputation and ensure long-term operations while ultimately growing the bottom line.

The briefings cover 103 countries and identify topics of crucial interest to planners, marketers and researchers.

Economy, Finance and Trade: Kenya



Kenya is likely to experience a rapid recovery, yet challenges will remain
Inflation is expected to remain stable over the medium term
Pandemic-related disturbances had a significant negative impact on international trade
Despite the pandemic, Kenya is likely to remain an increasingly attractive destination for investment
Kenya’s high external and public debt are expected to remain a challenge


Chart 1 Economic Landscape of Kenya: 2020 Chart 2 Real GDP Growth in Kenya: 2010-2040 Chart 3 GDP Size and Growth: 2015-2040 Chart 4 Gross Value Added by Sector in Kenya: 2020 Chart 5 Domestic Demand: 2015 and 2020 Chart 6 Productivity: 2015 and 2020 Chart 7 Productivity by Sector in Kenya: 2020


Chart 8 Monetary Landscape of Kenya: 2020 Chart 9 Inflation: 2010-2040 Chart 10 Average Inflation: 2010-2040 Chart 11 Interest Rates in Kenya: 2010-2021 Chart 12 Exchange Rates: 2010-2020 Chart 13 Money Supply Growth and Money Velocity in Kenya: 2015-2021


Chart 14 Foreign Trade Landscape of Kenya: 2020 Chart 15 Exports in Kenya: 2014-2021 Chart 16 Exports by Commodity in Kenya: 2020 Chart 17 Top 10 Export Destinations: 2020 Chart 18 Imports in Kenya: 2014-2021 Chart 19 Imports by Commodity in Kenya: 2020 Chart 20 Top 10 Import Origins: 2020


Chart 21 Investment Landscape of Kenya: 2020 Chart 22 FDI intensity: 2019 Chart 23 Foreign Direct Investment Inflows and Outflows in Kenya: 2014-2019 Chart 24 Gross Fixed Capital Formation in Kenya: 2010-2020


Chart 25 Government Budget Landscape of Kenya: 2020 Chart 26 Public Debt: 2020 Chart 27 Government Revenue: 2020 Chart 28 Government Expenditure: 2020 Chart 29 Government Expenditure by Economic Type in Kenya: 2020 Chart 30 Government Expenditure by Function in Kenya: 2020

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