• Economic indicators look great, but Kenyans are suffering.
• Good numbers don't translate to food on the table as prices rise.
The Kenya Economic Survey 2019 unveiled by the National Treasury yesterday painted a rosy picture of economic growth.
Real Gross Domestic Product is estimated to have expanded by 6.3 per cent in 2018 compared to 4.9 per cent in 2017. This is based on increased agricultural production, accelerated manufacturing, growth in transportation and a vibrant service sector.
The annual report shows 840,600 new jobs were created.
during the year. Annual real average earnings per person increased from Sh364,313.4 to Sh 376,080.
Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, decreased by almost half from eight per cent in 2017 to 4.7 per cent in 2018. This suggests more affordable living conditions.
While these figures sound great to the world, they mean nothing to a common Kenyan struggling to put food on the table.
Today, a 2kg packet of maize flour retails for about Sh120, despite reported growth in agriculture and manufacturing. Prices for other basic commodities, vegetables, fuel and electricity are rising too.
The bottom line is that economic growth is not felt by most citizens. Joblessness, hunger and depression seem to rise as the economy grows.
The government has an uphill task to ensure GDP growth translates into a better life for Wanjiku.
Quote of the Day: “Everything about it was wrong. That’s why it worked so good.”
Hubert Selby Jr
The American author (Last Exit to Brooklyn) died on April 26, 2004.