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Mixed outlook for last quarter

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James Chiutsi

Economic commentators and some industry players say they expect mixed economic fortunes in the last quarter of 2020.

While others hope to see pressure to the economy easing as Covid-19 cases drop by the day, some feel pressure would mount on business as they would feel a wave of the impact the pandemic has brought about to the economy.

Amid a stable political environment in the previous quarter, businesses still faced numerous challenges as Covid-19 continued to wreak havoc due to travel restrictions, among other factors.

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Commenting in an interview, Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) president, Lauryn Nyasulu, said in the last part of the year, the economic environment would remain volatile despite ease of Covid-19 pandemic pressure.

“The general expectation is that Covid-19 pandemic effects will continue to impede the country’s economic performance. This is because the pandemic has disrupted various sectors of the economy that are interdependent, hence, recovery may be somewhat slow,” Nyasulu said.

But Chamber for Small and Medium Businesses, an umbrella body for Small and Medium Enterprises expects businesses to start picking up.

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The chamber’s Executive Secretary, James Chiutsi, expressed optimism that in line with last quarter’s positive performance, there is now hope that the country is going towards the right recovery direction.

In a separate interview, Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) president, Mike Mlombwa, urged the government to put quick deliberate policies that could help boost businesses and spur the economy.

The Covid-19 pandemic has knocked down a lot of businesses.

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