IMF expects 4 pct growth in Malawi in 2019, economy performing well

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it expected Malawi’s economy to grow by around 4 percent in 2019, followed by a rise to 6-7 percent over the medium term.

In a statement on Friday, the IMF said Malawi was performing well under a three-year $112 million loan facility agreed earlier this year to help the southern African country reform its economy.

“Malawi’s economy continues to grow while inflation remains on a declining trend,” the statement read.

Malawi, which is heavily reliant on foreign funding, has restored economic stability after donors froze budgetary support over a corruption scandal.

Around a third of the country’s $3.5 billion public debt is external.

The IMF said key reform areas for Malawi were to improve debt management and public financial management. Fiscal policy should focus on ways to restore the budget balance after spending overruns last year, it added.

In a sign of lingering economic pressures, Malawi’s energy regulator said on Saturday that fuel prices would rise by an average of 5 percent. The regulator ran out of funds used to cushion consumers from fuel price rises earlier this year.

Malawi is a net importer of fuel and other essential goods, such as fertiliser and pharmaceuticals.

News Reporter