Wholesale dominates share of credit at 28%—RBM



Economists have asked authorities not to be carried away by the notable dominance of the wholesale and retail trade sector, saying this translates little to economic growth.

The sentiments come in wake of Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) figures showing that wholesale and retail trade sectors have dominated the share of credit at 27.6 percent.

RBM first half economic and financial report published this week shows that wholesale surpassed agriculture, manufacturing and community services which constituted 26.6 percent, 17.3 percent and 10.7 percent of the credit stock, respectively.

Agriculture remains largest contributor to the economy

Economic commentator Gilbert Kachamba in an interview on Tuesday said time has come for the country to support local industries to boost the country’s economic growth.

He said: “While it is not surprising that the wholesale and retail trade sector is dominating loans, this should not be satisfying as almost 90 percent traded merchandise in the retail and wholesale sector is imported.

“What we would like to see is government supporting industries such as manufacturing and transport sectors. These are the sectors that would translate in meaning growth of the economy,” he said.

Catholic University economics lecturer Hopkins Kabaghe said sorting out power supply challenges should be a priority so that domestic manufacturing thrives and becomes profitable.

“Our local manufacturing sector is failing to take off and people are shunning away from making meaningful investments due to the persistent power cuts.

“The manufacturing sector as well other sectors cannot borrow for investment purposes in this current state,” he said.

Economic statistician Alick Nyasulu said there is need to create a conducive environment for doing business.

“We also need to reduce imports and instead export more of finished products,” he said.

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