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Bi-Annual Report: Myanmar Economic Monitor (MEM) Launched

18 May 2018

The official launching ceremony of the Myanmar Economic Monitor (MEM): GROWTH AMIDST UNCERTAINTY was held in Yangon on Thursday. It was co-hosted by the Union of Myanmar Federations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and the World Bank Group for the first time.

The Myanmar Economic Monitor (MEM) is a bi-annual report that takes stock of recent economic developments and highlights economic prospects and selected policy issues for the coming period in Myanmar. Also it draws on available data reported by the Government of Myanmar and additional information collected as part of the World Bank Group's regular economic monitoring and policy dialogue.

According to the World Bank's Myanmar Economic Monitor, Myanmar's economy performed better in 2017/18 amidst growing global and domestic uncertainty, partially offsetting slower growth in 2016/2017. It is estimated that Myanmar had a broad-based increase in growth of national income as well as lower inflation and improved fiscal and external balances.

Growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have increased to 6.4 percent in 2017/18 from 5.9 percent in 2016/17. This growth was driven by a recovery in agriculture and especially crop production, improved manufacturing performance, and strong services growth despite a slight slowdown likely due to tourism and banking sector uncertainties.

Country Director, World Bank Myanmar, Ms. Ellen Goldstein said “… Indeed this is our twice a year Myanmar Economic Monitor and the purpose is to continue to focus on how they economy is performing. So we can provide suggestions and advices on how to help policy in Myanmar that really benefit of people. So what the report is finding this time is that Myanmar is continuing on long-term transition, economic transition in which the country has been growing very well around 7 percent a year and we have been considered for property productions. That is really good news and the prospects for growth also quite good. We are expecting growth quite in the coming year with increase in foreign investments. …”

The report also contains deeper topical analysis on reforms to support inclusive growth. It suggests that inclusive financial system can play a critical role in creating and sustaining a market-based economy for Inclusive growth in Myanmar.

Joint Secretary General, UMFCCI, Khine Khine New said “This is first time collaboration with UMFCCI and the World Bank Group. This time World Bank's Myanmar Economic Monitor is suggested that Myanmar's economy performed better in 2017/18 amidst growing global and domestic uncertainty. Also we discussed on recent economic development in Myanmar with professionals from various business sectors how to fix the weak points to improve our economy.”

The report also indicates a favorable outlook with growth expected to increase to 6.7 percent in 2018/19 and inflation which moderated to 5.5 percent in 2017/18 from 7 percent in 2016/17 and expected to ease further to 4.9 percent in 2018/19.