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Experts differ on growth prospects

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Economic experts are casting doubt over the 3.8 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection by the Treasury, saying the country is not out of the Covid pandemic hook yet.

However, others feel the country is heading towards recovery as Covid cases ease while businesses pick up.

Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu last Friday presented a K1.99 trillion financial plan in Parliament, where he projected that the local economy would swell by 3.8 percent this year and 5.2 percent in 2022.

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He said most economic sectors are also expected to register positive growth rates in the same period.

But, in an interview, Centre for Research and Consultancy Director Milward Tobias rated the projection as unrealistic.

He cited effects of Covid the pandemic among possible threats to growth.

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“There is cause to believe that the 3.8 percent target is attainable if the budget would be implemented as planned with significant spending on physical capital formation and if Covid would remain contained,” Tobias said.

Malawi Economic Justice Network Regional Coordinator for the South Mike Banda, however, said the projection was attainable depending on fiscal discipline.

“In a spate interview, economist Sane Zuka holds that outlook remains mixed.

“There is hope that Covid will be managed, locally and internationally. This situation will stimulate public confidence, consumption momentum and investment. Implementing the budget to the letter is crucial to achieving this goal,” Zuka said.

The International Monetary Fund recently cut its projection for Malawi’s GDP growth for 2021 to 2.2 percent.

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