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Malawi's Economy

Malawi’s Economy:

 

Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's most densely populated and least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural with about 85% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for more than one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues. The performance of the tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than half of exports. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. In December 2007, the US granted Malawi eligibility status to receive financial support within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) initiative. The government faces many challenges including developing a market economy, improving educational facilities, facing up to environmental problems, dealing with the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS, and satisfying foreign donors that fiscal discipline is being tightened. Since 2005 President MUTHARIKA'S government has exhibited improved financial discipline under the guidance of Finance Minister Goodall GONDWE and signed a three year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility worth $56 million with the IMF. Improved relations with the IMF lead other international donors to resume aid as well. In 2009, however, Malawi has experienced some setbacks, including a general shortage of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports. Investment fell 23% in 2009. The government has failed to address barriers to investment such as unreliable power, water shortages, poor telecommunications infrastructure, and the high costs of services.

 

GDP (purchasing power parity):

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$12.81 billion (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

$12.1 billion (2008 est.)

$11.03 billion (2007 est.)

note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

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$4.909 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

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5.9% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

9.7% (2008 est.)

7.9% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

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$900 (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 218

$800 (2008 est.)

$800 (2007 est.)

note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

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agriculture: 35.5%

industry: 19.9%

services: 44.6% (2009 est.)

Labor force:

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5.747 million (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 67

Labor force - by occupation:

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agriculture: 90%

industry and services: 10% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:

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NA% est.)

Population below poverty line:

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53% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

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lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 31.9% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

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39 (2004)

country comparison to the world: 68

Investment (gross fixed):

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11.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Budget:

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revenues: $1.215 billion

expenditures: $1.325 billion (2009 est.)

Public debt:

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58% of GDP (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

49.1% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

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8.5% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

8.7% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

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15% (31 December 2008)

country comparison to the world: 15

15% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

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25.28% (31 December 2008)

country comparison to the world: 9

27.72% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:

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$NA (31 December 2008)

$361.5 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:

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$NA (31 December 2008)

$250.4 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:

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$NA (31 December 2008)

$406.2 million (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

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$NA (31 December 2008)

$NA (31 December 2007)

$587.2 million (31 December 2006)

Agriculture - products:

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tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, Macadamia nuts; cattle, goats

Industries:

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tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate:

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10% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Electricity - production:

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1.69 billion kWh (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 137

Electricity - consumption:

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1.572 billion kWh (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 138

Electricity - exports:

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0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

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0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 167

Oil - consumption:

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8,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 157