(Adds details on drivers of growth)
NAIROBI, Sept 30 Kenya's economy grew faster in
the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in
2015, lifted by expansion in agriculture and a strong recovery
in tourism, the statistics office said on Friday.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said the
economy expanded by 6.2 percent year-on-year in the second
quarter compared with 5.9 percent in the same period in 2015.
It said agriculture grew 5.5 percent versus 4 percent in the
year-ago period, while accommodation and food services - which
includes tourism - rose 15.3 percent compared with a contraction
of 5 percent.
"The remarkable growth was on account of a considerable
boost from conference tourism as well as an improved security
situation. The recovery has also been enhanced by rigorous
marketing initiatives that have been implemented over time,"
Tourism, along with tea, horticulture and remittances, are
Kenya's leading sources of foreign exchange.
In 2015, East Africa's biggest economy struggled with a
number of challenges including attacks blamed on Somalia's al
Shabaab militants that scared away tourists and eroded foreign
exchange earnings in the sector.
Growth in the transport sector rose to 8.8 percent in the
quarter under review from 6.8 percent in the same quarter of
2015, KNBS said.
The Finance Ministry forecasts the economy will grow 6
percent in calendar 2016 and by 7 percent a year in the medium
term, compared with 5.6 percent last year.
The current account deficit contracted by 6 percent to
141.92 billion shillings ($1.40 billion), helped by low
international oil prices and falling machinery imports, the
statistics office said.
($1 = 101.1000 Kenyan shillings)
(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)