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Mining to grow by 3.0 percent

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Mining and quarrying industry is estimated to grow by 3.0 percent in 2020, down from an estimated growth of 4.0 percent in 2019, recent figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) show.

This comes as activities in the industry remain subdued, contributing less than 10 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Speaking in an interview Monday, a mining expert, Grain Malunga, however, said the industry would remain subdued in 2020 and beyond due to Covid-19 pandemic.

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“Medium to large scale aggregate mining maybe affected because they supply the bigger construction industry while others supply small constructions,” Malunga said.

The central bank says the sector mostly benefits from the activities in the construction industry as such its movements reflect those of the construction sector.

“Growth in the construction sector is estimated to slow down to 3.7 percent in 2020 compared to an estimate of 5.8 percent in 2019,” reads the statement in part.

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In the utilities sector, growth for 2020 was revised downwards from 6.0 percent to 3.0 percent from a 6.3 percent growth for 2019.

After taking into account the effects of the Covid-19, growth of the sector for 2020 has further been revised downwards to 3.0 percent according to RBM.

“This reduction is mainly on account of impeded import of spare parts for machinery that is stuck in countries such as China due to the lock-down emanating from the Coronavirus pandemic. Growth for the sector is projected at 4.7 percent for 2021,” reads the RBM report.

The information and communication sector is estimated to register a growth of 4.5 percent in 2020 as compared to 6.1 percent growth in 2019.

Agriculture, Malawi’s main driver of the economy will grow by 1.0 percent according to the report.

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