LILONGWE – The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says it expects strong growth in the manufacturing sector buoyed by a strong performance in the agriculture sector this year.

Overall, the central bank remains optimistic of a positive economic outlook.

RBM maintains its projection that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth would rebound to 5.0 percent in 2019 from 4.0 percent estimated in 2018.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, however, slashed Malawi’s GDP growth to 4.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

RBM says in its Financial and Economic Review issued recently that real economic activity would rebound on account of favourable weather conditions the country has experienced in 2019.

“This is expected to increase agricultural production in the 2018/2019 agricultural season.

“Growth is also expected to be observed in the manufacturing, electricity, gas and water supply, construction, transportation and storage and information and communication. Growth in 2020 is projected to grow by 5.1 percent,” RBM says.

The manufacturing sector is projected to swell by 4.6 percent, as compared to 3.6 percent growth registered in 2018, owing to expected improvements in electricity generation and supply.

The agriculture sector is projected to grow by 3.9 percent in 2019 compared to 0.9 percent estimated in 2018, premised on better rainfall patterns the country has received.

RBM says the mining and quarrying sectors are estimated to grow by 3.6 percent, higher than 2.1 percent estimated for 2018.

“Growth in the sector is on account of increased revenue from Kasikizi Coal Mine and a limestone mine in Mangochi coupled with major exploration works that are in progress at Malingunde in Lilongwe,” reads part of the report.