A PORTRAIT OF INFORMAL SECTOR CREDIT AND
INTEREST RATES IN MALAWI: INTERPOLATED
MONTHLY TIME SERIES
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Although informal finance forms a large part of the financial sector in nearly all low income countries, official monetary data exclude informal transactions in these countries. Usually, informal finance data are nonexistent and occasionally, they are available only from surveys that often occur at irregular intervals and mostly with incomparable data. Using two survey datasets, indigenous knowledge, and elements of Friedman’s data interpolation technique, this study constructs monthly time series of informal credit and interest rates for Malawi. The study argues that datasets constructed in this manner may be used with minimal loss of substance in place of the actual but nonexistent data.