NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s private sector activity contracted for the fifth consecutive month in August amid a general slowdown as the country held elections, a survey showed on Monday.
The S&P Global Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 44.2 in August from 46.3 a month earlier. The index remained below the 50.0 mark indicating an increase in activity since April.
Kenya held elections for a new president, local authorities and lawmakers on August 9, a process that was largely peaceful. Two of the last three presidential elections have led to deadly violence.
“The election had a noticeable impact on economic activity in August. Output fell sharply and at the fastest pace in 16 months, with the construction sector posting the largest decline,” S&P Global wrote in notes. accompanying the survey.
Vice President William Ruto was declared the winner of the presidential election, but opposition leader Raila Odinga challenged the result in the country’s highest court, which is due to rule by Monday.
The economy expanded rapidly in the first quarter of this year, data showed in June, but rising inflation has started to eat away at demand and weigh on the outlook.
(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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