Kenya Exchange Rate March 2020


Kenya: Kenyan shilling plunges to over four-year low against the U.S. dollar

March 23, 2020

The Kenyan shilling (KES) plummeted against the U.S. dollar in recent weeks as fears over the impact of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic rattled markets. On 20 March, the shilling closed the day at 106.0 KES per USD, which represented a 4.4% depreciation over the same day of the previous month and marked the lowest value since September 2015. As of that date, the shilling was down 4.4% year-to-date and 4.7% compared to the same day last year.

Concerns over the potential economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus pandemic weighed heavily on market sentiment in recent weeks, increasing demand for safe-haven assets and leading to a sharp weakening of the shilling. Moreover, the lockdowns in Europe—the country’s largest export market, particularly for flowers—and widespread travel restrictions are seen curbing hard currency earnings, while remittance inflows are slowing.

On the monetary policy front, the Central Bank announced on 16 March measures to offer relief to distressed borrowers by allowing commercial banks to extend loans for up to a year to those who get into difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, small- and medium-sized firms affected by the pandemic will also be able to restructure their bank loans at no cost, while charges and limits for mobile transfers have been removed in order to promote mobile money transactions, reduce the need for cash transactions and thereby prevent the spread of the virus.

Our panel projects the shilling to end 2020 at 105.2 KES per USD. In 2021, panelists see the shilling depreciating to 108.8 KES per USD.

Author:, Economist

Sample Report

Looking for forecasts related to Exchange Rate in Kenya? Download a sample report now.


Kenya Economic News

  • Kenya: PMI drops to eight-month low, but remains in expansionary territory

    March 3, 2021

    The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—produced by IHS Markit and Stanbic Kenya Bank—fell to 50.9 in February, down from January’s 53.2 print.

    Read more

  • Kenya: PMI rises to three-month high in January

    February 3, 2021

    The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—produced by IHS Markit and Stanbic Kenya Bank—rose to 53.2 in January, up from December’s 51.4 and marking a three-month high.

    Read more

  • Kenya: Inflation rises in January

    January 29, 2021

    Consumer prices increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.63% over the previous month in January, moderating from the 0.98% rise logged in December.

    Read more

  • Kenya: GDP contraction softens notably in Q3

    January 27, 2021

    According to Kenya’s Statistical Institute, GDP shrank 1.1% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020, moderating from Q2’s 5.5% contraction, which had been the first in at least a decade (previously reported: -5.7% year-on-year).

    Read more

  • Kenya: Central Bank keeps rate unchanged in January

    January 27, 2021

    At its 27 January meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of Kenya’s Central Bank opted to keep the Central Bank rate unchanged at 7.00%, marking the sixth consecutive hold after having cut it by 125 basis points during March–April 2020. The decision to hold reflected the Bank’s assessment that the policies implemented since March 2020 have been sufficient to weather the economic impact of the health crisis.

    Read more

More news

Search form