The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2001 Malawi's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $7 billion. The per capita GDP was estimated at $660. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 1.7%. The average inflation rate in 2001 was 28.6%. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 40% of GDP, industry 19%, and services 41%. Foreign aid receipts amounted to about $38 per capita and accounted for approximately 23% of the gross national income (GNI).
The World Bank reports that in 2001 per capita household consumption (in constant 1995 US dollars) was $132. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the same period private consumption declined at an annual rate of 3%. Approximately 50% of household consumption was spent on food, 7% on fuel, 2% on health care, and 6% on education. It was estimated that in 1991 about 54% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.