In 2011, the Q1 GDP growth stood at 7.6 per cent. Kenya recorded a first quarter growth of 4.7 per cent in 2012, 5.8 per cent in 2013 and a drop to 4.7 per cent in 2014.
In the first quarter of 2016, the economy grew by 5.9 per cent compared to 5 per cent in the same period in 2015.
A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) attributes the .9 growth to the revival of the tourism sector.
Kenya has in the recent past experienced low tourist arrival numbers blamed on travel advisories by governments of its major tourist markets following terror attacks and threats by the Somalia al Shabaab militant group.
The number of tourist arrivals increased from 231, 038 in the first quarter of 2015 to 261, 404 in the first three months of 2016.
“The most notable improvement was a rebound in activities of accommodation and food services which expanded by 12.1 per cent in the period under review compared to a contraction of 11.4 per cent during the same quarter in 2015,” KNBS said.
A number of other sectors also posted growth in Q1 2016.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing grew by 4.8 percent compared to 2.9 per cent in 2015.
“Value of exports of coffee and tea increased by 7.6 per cent and 24.5 per cent respectively over the same period. These developments were primarily on account of improved international prices during the review period.” KNBS explained.
The electricity sector grew by 8.5 percent; transport by 8.4 per cent; and ICT registered 9.7 per cent improvement.
Remittances from the Diaspora increased by 28.4 per cent to KSh42 billion from KSh33 billion in the first quarter of 2015.
The government forecasts that the economy will grow by 6 per cent in the 2016 calendar year and by 7 percent annually in the medium term, compared to 5.6 per cent growth last year.
KNBS said Kenya continues to benefit from the decline of international oil prices.