CfSC weighs in on inflation targets

The Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) has called for a review of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures changes in the price level of market basket of consumer goods and services. CfSC economic governance programmes officer Lucky Mfungwe said this yesterday on the backdrop of RBM maintaining its inflation targets set out in the…

2018 inflation fortunes

Since August 2017, the country achieved a milestone by registering a single digit inflation at 9.3 percent, which was largely driven by the reduction in food prices, particularly maize.  This meant that prices were increasing at a decreasing rate, giving consumers more purchasing power and more value for their money than in previous years. The…

World Bank hails financial sector reforms

The World Bank has commended the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) for it modest improvements in the financial sector following efforts aimed at increasing access to finance. The bank’s country economist Priscilla Kandoole says in the bank’s latest Malawi Economic Report the RBM is developing new instruments intended to strengthen the regulatory framework and to…

2018: Growth revised downwards again

Yet again, Malawi revised downwards economic growth projections. This has been the case in the past three years. Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development revised downwards the 2017 and 2018 growth projections to an average of four and 4.5 percent, respectively from the initial 6.4 percent and six percent, on account of poor agricultural…

Imports continue to grow at a low rate

Malawi’s imports continued to grow although at a low rate, with figures from the World Bank indicating a strong growth of imports of vehicles and fertilisers. Recently published World Bank figures indicate that in 2017, vehicles and fertilisers grew by 28 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Petrol imports, on the other hand, increased by nine…

World bank tips Malawi on growth

Despite decades of development efforts and significant foreign aid, Malawi’s weak and volatile economic growth performance has persisted mainly due to governance, institutions and policies over the long run, the World Bank has said. In its December 2018 Systematic Country Diagnostic: Breaking the Cycle of Low Growth and Slow Poverty Reduction, the bank says with…

Private sector credit growth under spotlight

A market analyst has said while continued growth of credit to the private sector is positive news, the credit spread gives direction as to where the economy should go going forward. The sentiments follow continued credit growth to the private sector since March 2018 with private sector credit in October growing by K17.5 billion to…

Inflation slips to double digit

Four months after attaining single digit levels, Malawi’s inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI ) has slipped back into double digits at 10.1 percent largely driven by increases in prices of both food and non-food items. But the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) argues that the outcome of inflation is consistent with…

Debt, deficits pile pressure on economy

Rising debt and fiscal deficits continue to put pressure on economic gains the country has attained recently putting prospects of a 2019 positive macroeconomic outlook under strain. While economicthink-tanks project a rebound in growth and single-digit inflation rate tocontinue, government’s appetite for borrowing and fiscal deficits speakotherwise with recent figures from the Reserve Bank of…

Icon property listing clause stirs

Debate has ensued over a clause in the new property firm Icon Properties’ prospectus with Minority Shareholders Association of Malawi (Msam) arguing the Green Shoe option could kill competition while market analysts think otherwise. Green Shoe option refersto a provision in an underwriting agreement that grants the underwriter theright to sell investors more shares than…

Mkango Resources progresses on rare earths exploration

  Mkango Resources Limited, a Canadian-based mineral and exploration company, says it has started the  process to update mineral resource estimate. The exercise follows the completion of the final 21 drill holes from the recently completed 10 900-metre diamond drill programme at the Songwe Hill Rare Earths Project. In a statement, the company’s chief executive…

IMF upbeat on outlook

  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Malawi’s 2019 macroeconomic outlook remains positive with growth expected to rebound to four percent reflecting increased electricity generation and growing infrastructure investment. The outlook is contained in the recently published November 2018 Country Report No. 18/336 on Malawi’s first review under the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement…

Bank says growth positive but weak

  Despite making strides economically, the World Bank says Malawi’s current growth is positive but weak compared to the rest of the sub-Saharan Africa region. In its 8th edition of the Malawi Economic Monitor (MEM) titled Investing in Girls’ Education to be launched today in Lilongwe, the World Bank says Malawi needs to sustain significantly…

Private sector domestic credit surge

For eight months running, credit extended to the private sector continued to register positive growth with recent figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM)indicating that in September alone, private sector credit grew by K7.7 billion to K447.3 billion. Comparatively, there was a growth of K1 billion and K19.7 billion in August 2018 and September…

Kwacha mixed fortunes

Despite remaining steady against the US dollar and Euro, kwacha lost value against pound in September 2018, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) statistics show. RBM September 2018  Monthly  Economic Report indicates that the local currency traded at K732.51 per US dollar and K852.15 per Euro while shedding 1.1 percent against the pound to trade at…

Microfinance firms rue regulatory cost

  Malawi Microfinance Network   (Mamn), a grouping of 52 registered microfinance institutions (MFIs), has blamed the cost of regulatory compliance for affecting the sector’s growth and the financial inclusion agenda. Mamn chairperson Courie Mulder said in an interview the regulatory environment has reached a stage where the balance between ensuring best practices and cost of…

Social safety nets under microscope

Weak monitoring in identifying poor households for the Malawi National Social Support Programme II (MNSSP II) could threaten the successful implementation of the programme. This is the view of the Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Services. According to MNSSP II, poor households are defined as those with less than minimum acceptable food consumption and…

Chamber backs Mera on fuel prices

  Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has defended Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) decision to hike fuel prices, saying any delay in implementing adjustments would be catastrophic. MCCCI chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira said in an interview yesterday that while increases in fuel prices push up the cost of doing business,…