Poll jitters has shaken the foundation of Kenya's capital and slumped building plans by Sh5.1 billion

For the first time in more than decade cement output and consumption dropped according to data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

Poll jitters have shaken the foundation of Nairobi City and seen one of the strongest sectors of the economy take a hit.

The value of approved building plans in Nairobi slumped by Sh5.1 billion in the seven months to July as real estate investors cut back on spending due to poll jitters.

“We have recorded a drop in activity with the general slowdown in the economy due to political tensions,” said Steven Oundo, chairman of National Construction Authority.

Compared to a similar period last year where Investors sank Sh154.6 billion in the real estate sector, City Hall only approved plans valued at Sh149.5 billion in 2017, official data shows.

The real estate industry is one of the strongest and stable pillars of the economy and therefore normally used to measure economic growth.

Factories reduced cement production seven per cent to 4.2 million metric tonnes in the year to August down from 4.5 million metric tonnes.

The deepest cut was experienced in August when Kenya held its General Election, underlining the election fever effects on the economy.

The cuts came in response to a cooling demand after consumption dropped 6.4 per cent to 2.9 million metric tonnes in the first half of the year, KNBS data shows.

Cement use cuts and a drop in the value of building plans point to a cooling construction sector.

The cement sector has thrived in recent years following a boom in the real estate sector and government undertaking mega infrastructure projects but the charged and unpredicted nature of Kenyan politics further complicated by the Supreme Court verdict which nullified the August Presidential poll and called for fresh one seem to have shaken key economic sectors.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance said most investors had postponed their decisions awaiting a political settlement — a decision that has triggered a slowdown in spending and consumption of goods.


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