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Malawi Coat of Arms

Malawi Government



The National Statistical Office is pleased to announce the completion of the rebasing of the economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2010 to 2017 base year. GDP is a measure of the monetary value of all finished goods and services produced within an economy.

Rebasing of GDP is a process of replacing the old base year used for compiling GDP with a more recent base year for computing constant price estimates. As relative prices and the structure of the economy change over time, it is necessary to update the base year frequently to correspond with the evolution of prices in the economy and to improve quality and coverage of National Accounts.

Nominal GDP measures the value of goods and services at prices of a particular year (current market price) while real GDP measures any changes in the volume of production, eliminating changes in prices of goods and services, by keeping the price level constant at base year levels.

The GDP revision has drawn from the following major datasets: Census of Economic Activities; administrative data from general government; agricultural production estimates, and banking data. Following the new GDP benchmark year of 2017, estimates for 2018 and 2019 are based on revised economic activity level indicators.

Malawi’s nominal GDP for 2017 has been revised upwards by 38.4 percent from MK4,635.4 billion (US$6.35 billion) in the 2010 base year to MK6,417.3 billion (US$8.8 billion) in the 2017 base year. This revision is attributed predominantly to improved coverage from the Census of Economic Activities which was implemented for the first time in the history of economic surveys in Malawi. The economy registered a nominal GDP growth of 10.8 percent in 2018 to MK7,113.1 billion (US$9.7 billion) and 13.9 percent in 2019 to MK8,098.5 billion (US$10.9 billion). Highest growth rates were observed in agriculture (20.8 percent), human health service activities (16.4 percent) and transportation service activities (16.0 percent).

In real terms, GDP for 2018 stood at MK6,701.0 billion (US$9.2 billion) and increased to MK7,084.4 billion (US$9.5 billion) in 2019. These figures represent real GDP growth rates of 4.4 percent and 5.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Regarding industry shares to GDP in 2017, agriculture led with 23.3 percent followed by wholesale and retail trade service activities (12.9 percent), manufacturing (11.5 percent) and real estate service activities (7.2 percent). However, the share of agriculture in GDP in 2017 dropped from 28.2 percent in the 2010 base year to 23.3 percent in the 2017 base year. Industry and services, however, increased shares in GDP from 11.2 percent to 15.0 percent and from 53.8 percent to 55.4 percent, respectively. Following the GDP rebasing, the structure of the economy of Malawi appears more diversified. 

Issued on 14th October 2020 by National Statistical Office, P.O. Box 333, Zomba, Malawi Tel: +265 524 377/111 Fax: +265 525 130 E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: www.nsomalawi.mw


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