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Kenya cbank says current account gap could be narrower than forecast

Credit: REUTERS/NJERI MWANGI

Kenya's current account deficit could narrow from the forecast of 5.8% of GDP for this year thanks to growing farm exports and a rebound in remittances from citizens living abroad, the central bank governor said on Friday.

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NAIROBI, June 26 (Reuters) - Kenya's current account deficit could narrow from the forecast of 5.8% of GDP for this year thanks to growing farm exports and a rebound in remittances fromcitizens living abroad, the central bank governor said on Friday.

The value of tea exports, a key source of hard currency, rose by 15% in May from the same month a year ago, Patrick Njoroge said, adding that exports of flowers, fruits and vegetables increased by a third in the same month.

Cash sent home by Kenyans living abroad, known as remittances, recovered to $258 million in May, Njoroge told an online news conference, after dipping to $208 million in April due to the coronavirus crisis.

He attributed the higher inflows to a return to normalcy in major economies abroad including South Africa, as well as increasing numbers of ways to send cash, including straight to the recipients' mobile phones.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri Editing by Mark Heinrich)

((duncan.miriri@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 20 4991239; Reuters Messaging: duncan.miriri.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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