Jan 31, 2013

Upbeat forecast for Myanmar’s economy assumes price stability, low inflation

The government is aiming to raise GDP growth to 7.7 percent a year over the next two fiscal years – from the 5.5 percent expected this year – as part of a development plan that also aims to keep inflation below 2 percent, officials said.

To meet this goal the country’s industrial output will rise from 26 to 32 percent of economic activity, while individual income is expected to rise by 30 percent to 40 percent, they said.

“The country’s budget deficit is falling,” Finance and Revenue deputy minister Dr. Maung Maung Thein told Parliament recently in response to questions about the economic outlook.
The deficit was 4.9 percent of the GDP in fiscal year 2011 and is on track to fall to 3.2 percent in the fiscal year ending in March 2013.

Maung Maung Thein said prices of crude oil and other products as well as foreign exchange rates were expected to remain stable in the coming fiscal year.

Inflation was measured in double digits under the previous government, but the current civilian government brought it down to a single digit last year.

The government has said that national reserves exceed US$8 billion and that it aims to raise this amount while also avoiding increasing the supply of money if its spending is in deficit.

Myanmar’s currency, the kyat, fell 10 percent against most major currencies following the imposition of new foreign exchange rates by the Central Bank of Myanmar last April, but government officials forecast that it will remain stable.
They say the domestic economy will continue to expand despite a heavy foreign debt load, and that growth is likely to accelerate after 2015.

Source: 11 Weekly Media


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