According to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the Kenyan economy went down by 1.1 per cent between July and September 2020. This is in comparison to the previous quarter (April-June) where the economy went down by 5.5 per cent. These statistics show that there was a slight improvement by the end of 2020 as far as economic growth is concerned.
The statistics came late owing to the coronavirus-related disruptions, says KNBS. The strict COVID-19 containment measures greatly affected tourism, manufacturing, and trade during the third quarter.
“Economic performance in the third quarter of 2020 remained depressed but relatively better compared to the second quarter of 2020,” said KNBS in the Quarterly Gross Domestic Product Report.
Gross Domestic Product can be defined as the total sum of goods and services produced in a country. The hospitality sector, which is said to be the most affected, reduced by 58 per cent following the closing of country borders as a way of containing the virus.
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KNBS ruled out that the pandemic directly disrupted accommodation and food services which crippled the sector even further. However, the third quarter was a slight improvement compared to the previous one, between April and July 2020, where hotel and restaurant activities reduced by 83.2 per cent.
Despite the fact that economic recessions usually occur in a boom and bust manner, this is the first time such is happening in Kenya, said David Ndii, a renowned Kenyan Economist. “It is not a cycle, because recessions are cyclical. If you are talking about recessions and recoveries, we should be able to go back 50 years and show previous recessions,” He added
Despite efforts of re-opening the economy, thousands of businesses still remain closed. Millions of employees have been laid off and some furloughed. The president’s decision to partially re-open the economy and lifting travel restrictions on both domestic and international flights has helped the country get back its footing.