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INFLATION | As the Kenyan stock market becomes the worst performing in the world, the Kenyan Shilling (KES) depreciates by 21% in a single year.

Employers in Kenya claim that between September 13, 2022, and November 22, 2023, the value of the Kenya shilling (KES) decreased by 21%.

The Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) reported in a recent statement that the Kenyan shilling’s exchange rate versus the US dollar reached a high of 152.45, as opposed to 121.05 at the same time in 2022. The poor value of exports has led to a decrease in foreign currency inflow and capital flight, which are the main causes of this.

The body claims that the country is seeing a significant exodus of investors as a result of the Kenyan shilling’s depreciation versus major world currencies, the high cost of doing business, and the persistently unfavorable investor sentiment toward emerging and frontier economies.

Kenya’s stock market is currently the worst-performing in the world after suffering sharp losses. The unsatisfactory performance continues. The market capitalization has experienced a 5.1% fall, accompanied by declines in equity turnover and total shares traded of 67.9% and 29.6%, respectively.

The Gross Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) to Gross Loans Ratio increased from 13.3 percent at the start of 2023 to 15% at the conclusion of the third quarter of 2023, indicating that credit risk is still high.

Furthermore, in comparison to other East African countries, the nation’s labor force is losing its competitiveness.

According to FKE, labor productivity in Kenya is 6.77 percent, while it increased by 8.4 percent and 13% in Tanzania and Uganda, respectively. Kenya’s productivity is not only poor, but it is also declining.

“We just cannot compete with this kind and level of productivity.”

An upcoming survey by the FKE indicates that between October 2022 and November 2023, the formal private sector lost 3% (70,000) of its jobs in the nation, and 40% of employers said they planned to cut staff in order to keep up with rising operating expenses in Kenya.

The unexpected and regular introduction of levies, fees, taxes, and other charges is driving up the cost of doing business in Kenya.Employers in Kenya said that because of the various taxes they have to pay, economic progress will remain restricted if the private sector does not grow.

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