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Malawi - Open Map
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Economy

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. The government faces strong challenges, e.g., to spur exports, to improve educational and health facilities, to face up to environmental problems of deforestation and erosion, and to deal with the rapidly growing problem of HIV/AIDS.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $9.4 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.2% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $940 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 37%
industry: 29%
services: 34% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: 54% (1990-91 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 45% (1999)

Labor force: 3.5 million

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 86%, wage earners 14% (1990 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: 922 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 2.39%
hydro: 97.61%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 857 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses; cattle, goats

Exports: $510 million (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products

Exports - partners: South Africa 15%, US 9%, Germany 9%, Netherlands 7%, Japan (1998)

Imports: $512 million (f.o.b., 1999)

Imports - commodities: food, petroleum products, semimanufactures, consumer goods, transportation equipment

Imports - partners: South Africa 38%, Zimbabwe 18%, Zambia 8%, Japan 4%, US, UK, Germany (1998)

Debt - external: $2.3 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $416.5 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Malawian kwacha (MK) = 100 tambala

Exchange rates: Malawian kwachas (MK) per US$1 - 46.3494 (December 1999), 44.0881 (1999), 31.0727 (1998), 16.4442 (1997), 15.3085 (1996), 15.2837 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June



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