Kenya central bank governor trims 2023 GDP growth forecast

(Reuters) -Kenya Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge on Thursday said he expected the country’s economy to grow by 5.8% in 2023, trimming the forecast from an earlier figure of 6.1% because of a downward revision of the prospects for the agricultural sector.

On Wednesday, the central bank raised its benchmark lending rate to 9.50% from 8.75% previously and said there was room for further tightening of monetary policy in anticipation of higher inflation.

“We scaled down agricultural growth which has brought down overall our projection for overall growth in 2023,” Njoroge told a news conference.

Like other countries in the region, Kenya is emerging from a drought, the worst in four decades that hit agriculture hard.

The Kenyan economy grew by an estimated 5.6% in 2022.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland; writing by George ObulutsaEditing by Bernadette Baum and Estelle Shirbon)