Kenya tweaks 2022/23 spending, deficit estimates in supplementary budget

FILE PHOTO: Customer conducts a mobile money transfer at a Safaricom agent stall in Nairobi

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s finance ministry has tweaked its spending and budget deficit estimates for the current fiscal year that ends in June to show a slight increase in overall expenditure but a narrower deficit.

Supplementary budget documents submitted to parliament showed overall spending was projected at 3.37 trillion shillings ($26.98 billion), from the 3.36 trillion shillings contained in the original budget presented to parliament in April last year.

The deficit for the 2022/23 fiscal year is now seen at 5.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with 6.2% originally.

President William Ruto’s administration is trying to curb the deficit after public debt rose sharply under his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, who oversaw an infrastructure construction drive.

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The supplementary budget said net foreign financing was expected to be at 2.7% of GDP from the original 2% seen in April 2022. Net domestic financing is seen at 3% of GDP versus 4.2% originally.

Lawmakers are yet to approve the supplementary budget.

($1 = 124.9000 Kenyan shillings)

(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Alexander Winning)