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Manufacturing to grow by 3.3 percent in 2018

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Malawi’s manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 3.3 percent in 2018, up from 1.8 percent in 2017, latest national account figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) show.

This is despite an anticipated significant fall in growth of agriculture, which is expected to shrink from 6.5 percent in 2017 to 0.3 percent in 2018.

Growth in agriculture is expected to be affected by a double impact of dry spell and the fall army worms which affected crop production in many districts in the Southern and Central regions.

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Growth in manufacturing in 2018 could, however, be propelled by improvements in power availability following the commissioning of 78 megawatts diesel power generators early this year.

RBM further said it expects construction activities to grow by 5.3 percent this year, from 4.8 percent in 2017.

Growth in construction, according to RBM, is on the assumption that the government will continue investing in physical infrastructure.

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Mining and quarrying industry is projected to grow by 3.9 percent after registering a growth of 1.6 percent in 2017.

This is compared to a minimal growth rate of 0.4 percent registered in 2016.

According to the report, coal, which is one of the country’s natural resources, is expected to increase this year as farmers are likely to increase production of flue cured tobacco in 2018, having had favourable prices on the auction floor in 2017.

The central bank further said financial and insurance services are projected to grow by 6.1 percent this year, from 6.7 percent in 2017.

According to the central bank, growth in the medium term is expected to be driven by an increase in financial inclusion resulting from the introduction of new technologies such as mobile banking.

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