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Goodall upbeat on 7% GDP growth prospects

By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister, Goodall Gondwe, has reiterated that the local economy could accelerate by seven percent in 2019 amid pessimism from some economic think-tanks.

Gondwe’s assertion comes as commentators say attaining a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of above five percent this year remains a farfetched dream saying the outlook remains highly vulnerable to internal and external shocks.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank projected that the Malawi economy could grow by at least four percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said in its 2019 Africa Economic Outlook that it expects the local economy to accelerate by 5.6 percent.

Local Investment management and advisory firm, Alliance Capital Limited, predicted that the local economy could swell by 4.5 percent.

However, Gondwe said in an interview that he is confident the country could achieve growth of around seven percent this year.

Gondwe said a number of elements, including the weather, appear to be in the country’s favour this year which could result in improved agriculture production.

In an interview with The Daily Times, Gondwe said as an insider, he is reliably informed that in a few months power outages would be a thing of the past in the country.

Gondwe then said he also anticipate the electricity situation to improve in the country would spar private sector productivity.

“Sometime in the near future we will no longer be considered to be the poorest country in the world,” Gondwe said.

The country has been subjected to devastating power outages for years now a situation that has negatively affected the private sector and economic growth prospects.

A 2018 last quarter Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Economic Review released recently shows that economic growth prospects may still be subdued by continued intermittent power supply and weakened performance of the industry.

Real GDP growth was estimated at 3.7 percent in 2018, down from 5.1 percent in 2016/17, largely affected by the long dry spell in the first half of 2018 and fall armyworm infestation which reduced maize output.

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