Diaspora remittances have reduced by 5.56 percent in the month of November 2017 in comparison to October.
This is the first time the inflows from diaspora have decreased since August 2017, even as the cumulative remittances in the first 11 months of the year reached a new record high.
Official data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicate that Kenyans living and working abroad sent Sh18.10 billion ($175.18 million), in November, up from Sh19.17 billion ($185.50 million) a month earlier.
“I would partly put that under the impact of (end of) the electioneering period, but I expect there was a recovery in December because even for businesses December was a much better month by far,” chief investment officer at Cytonn Investments Elizabeth Nkukuu said.
“This year we could see even better flows because generally global markets are doing better. GDP in the Eurozone and the United States (US) is growing and we are also now in an investment environment, and so it is a stability year and people will be bringing money back home.”
Inflows in the first 11 months of 2017 hit an all-time record high at about Sh180.15 billion ($1.743 billion), Sh19.11 billion (11.50 per cent) more than the Sh161.57 billion ($1.563 billion) in 2016.
Last month, Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) chairman Shem Ochuodho estimated that nearly three-quarters of the inflows from Kenyans outside the country go into family support, including school fees and medical bills.
Kenyans in North America, largely the US, submitted 51 per cent or Sh91.89 billion ($889.14 million) in the first 11 months of the year, a 16.41 per cent increase from Sh78.94 billion ($763.78 million) a year earlier.
Remittances from Europe grew the most at 21.88 per cent to Sh58.69 billion ($567.87 million), while the rest of the world dropped by 14.26 per cent to Sh29.57 billion ($286.10 million).
“When you factor in remittances, North America leapfrogs to the top of our (Kenya) foreign policy,” Aly-Khan Satchu, the chief executive of investment advisory firm Rich Management Group, said.
“I was concerned that a MAGA (Make America Great Again) Trump was going to weigh on this curve, but so far we appear to have escaped that dragnet.”