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Economic outlook still murky

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The Reserve Bank Malawi (RBM) says quick access to Covid vaccine remains key to economic recovery as cases are on the rise again.

The central bank said this in its Market Intelligence Report for May, where it has revealed that, apart from inflation easing, most macroeconomic fundamentals were in red during the month.

The RBM report says the outlook for the domestic economy mainly hinges on the impact of the looming third wave of the Covid pandemic

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“The number of Covid infections continues to increase, which may force the government to reinstate restrictions for Covid prevention, thereby affecting economic activities. Therefore, availability and access of Covid vaccines is key for ensuring sustained economic recovery,” the report reads.

The past months have seen coronavirus cases rising with active cases seen at 1, 529 where 229 cases were new as of Wednesday evening.

In an interview, economist from University of Malawi Jacob Mazalale said the vaccine uptake remains essential in the fight against the pandemic.

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“If we will not get vaccinated, people will not only get ill but even their productivity will go down because their participation in the economy will be compromised and restrictions are worse,” he said.

Malawians will, however, have to wait longer before they get another shipment of the vaccine as the Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said another consignment may come end of this month or early next month.

Health experts and different countries are banking their hope on the Covid vaccine as the best tool out of the pandemic and best road to economic recovery.

Malawi has currently vaccinated 385,242 people with the first dose and 43,165 people with the second dose.

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