Kenya’s GDP grows to Ksh.15.1 trillion in 2023

Kenya’s GDP grows to Ksh.15.1 trillion in 2023

A view shows a section of the skyline in Nairobi, Kenya March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew to 5.6 per cent in 2023, up from 4.9 per cent in 2022.

This is according to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS, which shows that Kenya’s GDP currently stands at Ksh.15.1 trillion with a GDP per capita of $2,097.

The major contributors to the country's growth in 2023, included industries such as agriculture forestry, and fishing at 19.8 per cent financial and insurance activities at 16.6 per cent, real estate at 13.3 per cent, and transportation and storage at 10.6 per cent.

However, the informal sector continued to outperform the formal sector's contribution in job creation, creating an additional 4.5 per cent new jobs in 2023 compared to 4.1 per cent growth in formal jobs.

“If we're to go for the loose definition of unemployment, then the Kenyan situation has it at 13.2 so the 5.1 that we are talking about is looking at those who are available for work they are not employed but are looking for,” said Macdonald Obudho, the KNBS director general.

The manufacturing sector was the leader in new opportunities, creating 340,600 jobs, followed by the agricultural sector at 302,400.

Wholesale and retail trade, as well as motor vehicle repair shops combined, accounted for 270,700 new jobs while the construction industry saw 226,300 new jobs created, pushing the wage bill from the private sector to Ksh.1.9 trillion while the public sector wage bill stood at Ksh.823.4 billion.

Despite leading in new job opportunities, the manufacturing sector continued to experience a downturn in 2023 with the sector's output declining to 2.8 per cent down from 3.7 per cent in 2022. 

The sector further saw the value of exports of apparel to the U.S. market also decrease from Ksh.56.7 billion in 2022 to Ksh.50.8 billion in 2023.

A tough macroeconomic environment saw the sector's demand for credit increase to Ksh.639 billion in 2023 from up from Ksh.528.9 billion in 2022.

“Sugar declined; the assembly of vehicles also declined by 2.7 per cent; maize flour also declined by 2.2 per cent; now cement is also one of the items that went down by 1.8 per cent. It’s important to take note of that because cement is one of the key indicators when it comes to the construction sector,” Obudho added.

The tourism sector however registered significant milestones in 2023 with the number of tourist arrivals increasing to 2.08 million in 2023, up from 1.5 million in 2022. 

The sector also saw bed occupancy increase by 23.2 per cent to 8.6 million people with 53.5 per cent of them being occupied by Kenyans.

There was a 34 per cent increase in the number of global tourists arriving in 2023, while the number of local conferences grew by 11 per cent.

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