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Malawi Economy

Malawi    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's least developed countries. The economy is predominately agricultural, with about 90% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for 37% of GDP and 85% of export revenues. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. In late 2000, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. The government faces strong challenges, e.g., to fully develop a market economy, to improve educational facilities, to face up to environmental problems, and to deal with the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $9.4 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $900 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  37%

industry:  29%

services:  34% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line: 54% (FY90/91 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  NA%

highest 10%:  NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 29.5% (2000)
Labor force: 3.5 million
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 86% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues:  $490 million

expenditures:  $523 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY99/00 est.)
Industries: tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 1.025 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  2.44%

hydro:  97.56%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 950 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 3 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses; cattle, goats
Exports: $416 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products
Exports - partners: South Africa 16%, Germany 16%, US 15%, Netherlands 7%, Japan (1999)
Imports: $435 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: food, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment
Imports - partners: South Africa 43%, Zimbabwe 14%, UK 5%, Germany 5%, Zambia, Japan, US (1999)
Debt - external: $2.9 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $427 million (1999)
Currency: Malawian kwacha (MWK)
Currency code: MWK
Exchange rates: Malawian kwachas per US dollar - 80.0946 (December 2000), 59.5438 (2000), 44.0881 (1999), 31.0727 (1998), 16.4442 (1997), 15.3085 (1996)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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