This paper discusses Malawi’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is having a severe impact on Malawi, creating an urgent balance of payments need. The authorities have been proactive in mitigating the impact of the pandemic, including through increased spending on health care and social assistance, supporting small and medium enterprises, bolstering farmers’ incomes and ensuring food security through purchase and storage of agricultural harvests, and easing liquidity constraints in the banking system. The IMF’s emergency financing under the RCF is expected to help the authorities meet the large external financing gap and catalyze further assistance from the international community. Additional concessional donor support will be critical to close the remaining external financing gap and facilitate the needed interventions to ease the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, while preserving Malawi’s hard-earned macroeconomic stability. A widening of the budget deficit is appropriate in the near-term, given the fiscal costs associated with the economic slowdown and critical additional health care and social spending needs, which should be executed transparently and targeted to the most affected parts of society.
This paper assesses and disseminates experiences and lessons from low-income countries (LICs) in Sub-Saharan Africa that were selected by the Africa Department in 2015-16 as pilots for enhanced analysis of macro-financial linkages in Article IV staff reports. The paper focuses on the common characteristics across the pilot countries and highlights the tools used in the analysis, the challenges encountered, and the solutions deployed in overcoming them.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Malawi recently rebounded from two years of drought. Growth picked up from 2.3 percent in 2016 to an estimated 4.0 percent in 2017 owing to a recovery in agricultural production. Inflation has been reduced below 10 percent owing to the stabilization of food prices, prudent fiscal and monetary policies, and a stable exchange rate. Economic growth is expected to increase gradually, reaching over 6 percent in the medium term. Growth will be supported by enhanced infrastructure investment and social services as well as an improved business environment, which will boost confidence and unlock the economy’s potential for higher, more broad-based, and resilient growth and employment.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the technical advice and recommendations of the IMF mission to the authorities of Malawi regarding strengthening fundamental controls and reporting. The government is determined to restore control over public funds. Considerable progress has been made on the reconciliation of the 2015/16 transactions of selected bank accounts. Issues related to transactions before 2015/16 should be investigated and resolved. The auditor general and the Central Internal Audit Unit (CIAU) are investigating unmatched or potentially duplicate payments for 2009–June 2015. It is recommended that the accountant general investigate possible duplicate payments identified by the CIAU.
This paper discusses Malawi’s Ninth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Request for Waivers for Nonobservance of performance criteria. Real GDP growth is expected to range between 4–5 percent in 2017 owing to a good agricultural harvest and its expected spillovers to other sectors of the economy. Growth prospects, however, will be constrained by persistent power blackouts, water shortages, and access to credit. Real growth is expected to gradually increase over the medium term as macroeconomic conditions stabilize and investment and consumption levels rise. The outlook remains challenging, reflecting uncertainties related to weather conditions, the impact of the fall armyworm infestation on food crops and risks of policy slippages.
This paper discusses the Malawi authorities, request for a short extension (June 30, 2016) to their arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) that is currently due to expire on May 22, 2016. The extension is needed to provide time for the authorities to implement two prior actions for completing the seventh and eighth reviews. These comprise the reconciliation of government bank accounts for the first half of FY2015/16 and another on preparing a report on the flow and stock of domestic arrears at end-2015.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that bold economic reforms undertaken in mid-2012 in Malawi transformed the policy environment and greatly improved the outlook of the economy. Over 2012–14, real GDP growth and inflation averaged 4.3 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively. The economic outlook remains difficult reflecting the negative impact of weather-related shocks, the ongoing suspension of budget support, persistently high inflation and weaker global demand which could hurt Malawi’s exports. Real GDP growth is projected to fall by 2.7 percentage points to 3 percent in 2015.