By Patricia Kapulula
Statistics gathered from the Census of Economic Activities 2019 indicate that there has been an increase in economic activity between the period 2016 and 2017.
The National Statistical Office (NSO) conducted the first ever Census of Economic Activities (CEA) from November 2018 to April 2019 whose primary source of information were businesses operating in Malawi.
All businesses operating in Malawi in 2016 and 2017 formed the basis of the sampling frame of the census.
During the activity companies were asked to provide to the census information of the years 2016 and 2017.
Census Coordinator, Lizzie Chikoti told journalists after dissemination of the preliminary results of the census in Lilongwe on Thursday that numbers gathered indicate that there has been an increase in economic activity between the mentioned years.
Asked to say how big the increase is, Chikoti said the census used variables but still there has been a remarkable increase.
“The increase is not overall because we have done it by variables. It is like employment on its own, revenue on its own. So I cannot give you the overall per se but there has been an increase in these variables ranging from four percent to 14 percent,” she said.
Commissioner of Statistics, Mercy Kanyuka said in order to measure the impact of the changes in economy, there is need for a set of macroeconomic indicators that are produced regularly and on a timely basis and as such the economic census is the benchmark for such an exercise.
The census has captured employment numbers for the companies that responded to the questionnaires as well as remuneration plus benefits of the employees, turnover and what companies spend in production.
The overall goal of the census was to provide comprehensive data for the activities and structure of the Malawian economy.
In general the following areas were covered during the census; general information about a company, employment, revenue, production, finances and financial assets among others.
In 2017, the African Development Bank (AfDB) assisted the Malawi government through NSO with financial and technical assistance which has been instrumental to the census activities.