The Star Early Edition
Political woes hit economy
PRIVATE activity in Kenya dropped to a record low last month as prolonged political instability exerted a heavy toll on the economy, survey data has showed. The Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing and services slumped to 34.4 from 40.9 in September. “The heated political temperature has challenged Kenya’s private sector,” said Jibran Qureishi, economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank. Output has contracted for six straight months, the PMI showed. Qureishi said last month’s drop was the sharpest since 2014, as output, new orders and employment contracted. The re-run election won by President Uhuru Kenyatta was boycotted by opposition leader Raila Odinga resulting in violent protests. The economy grew 5 percent, short of its full year 5.5 percent forecast.