INTERVIEW-IMF sees Kenya 2011 economic growth at 5.7 percent

Wed Feb 2, 2011 10:10am GMT

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By Duncan Miriri

NAIROBI, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Kenya's economy is likely to expand by 5.7 percent in 2011 from an estimated 5 percent growth in 2010, lifted by public spending on infrastructure and private sector growth, the IMF said on Wednesday.

Ragnar Gudmundsson, the International Monetary Fund's representative in Kenya, said the country has the potential to transform itself from a frontier to an emerging market economy within a few years.

"We expect the positive sentiment surrounding Kenya to continue in 2011 and also expect the private sector to remain on a fast-growth track and hence GDP (growth) levels to reach about 5.7 percent in 2011," he told Reuters in an interview.

The Washington-based fund approved this week a $509 million extended credit facility to help Kenya boost its international reserves over a three-year period.

Gudmundsson said the extended credit facility was aimed at balance of payment support, informed by the east African nation's trade outlook.   Continued...

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