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Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Over the last few years, Myanmar has undergone an unprecedented process of economic and political liberalisation, which led the United States to lift sanctions on the country which had been in place for almost two decades. Nevertheless, the elected government was overthrown by a military coup d'état in February 2021, which prompted the U.S. government decision to authorize new sanctions, adding uncertainty to the country’s future economic performance. According to figures from the IMF, Myanmar’s GDP grew by 6.8% in 2019; however, the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the following global crisis it caused slowed down the country’s growth, estimated at 3.2% in 2020 before plummeting at -17.2% in 2021 following the military coup. For 2022, the IMF forecasts a return to -0.1% of growth before +2.5% in 2023 (IMF, 2022).

The general government gross debt increased to 39.3% of GDP in 2020, from 38.8% one year earlier, and followed an upward trend in 2021 at 58.4%. It should reach 63.5% of GDP in 2022 and 66.8% in 2023 (IMF, 2022). For fiscal year 2019-20, the deficit was estimated at 5.8% of GDP. According to the national Finance Commission, the government budget deficit is expected to reach 5.6% of GDP in fiscal year 2020-21 (which started in October 2020) due to lower tax revenues and falling gas prices (-1.5% of GDP) and increased spending for the implementation of several COVID-19 support measures. Amid lower demand, inflation decelerated to 5.7% in 2020 (from 8.6% one year earlier), and then 4.1% in 2021. It should remain high and reach 6.5% in 2022 and 6.8% in 2023 (IMF, 2022). While infrastructure and capital spending as part of the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan is expected to contribute to economic activity, the continued humanitarian crisis affecting the state of Rakhine could dampen donor financing and investor sentiment. Furthermore, the military coup d’état is expected to cause a drop in FDI inflows as Europe and the U.S. are pondering the introduction of new economic sanctions in response to the violent crackdown on civilians.

According to the Myanmar Statistical Information Service - MMSIS, unemployment rate  reached 1.79% in 2020 from 0.7% in 2019. However, the salary of many workers does not allow them to meet the daily needs of their families. Myanmar lost about 1.6 million jobs in 2021 amid the combined shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and military coup (International Labour Organization, January 2022). Myanmar counts among the poorest countries in Asia – with one-third of its population living under the poverty line, particularly in rural areas - and is among the most corrupted countries in the world (with a ranking of 140/180 in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index of 2021).

 
Main Indicators 20202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 81.26e65.1659.5363.5667.17
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 3.2e-17.92.03.33.4
GDP per Capita (USD) 1e1111
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 39.362.362.563.767.3
Inflation Rate (%) 5.73.616.213.37.8
Current Account (billions USD) -2.75-0.93-1.03-0.80-1.17
Current Account (in % of GDP) -3.4-1.4-1.7-1.3-1.7

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data


 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Myanmar Kyat (MMK) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 EUR 1,313.691,536.671,687.011,721.571,631.95

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

Main Sectors of Industry

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 48.8 16.9 34.2
Value Added (in % of GDP) 22.8 35.8 41.4
Value Added (Annual % Change) -7.4 -10.3 -11.1

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 24,691,81824,188,08822,951,469

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 66.16%66.47%64.51%
Men activity rate 81.69%81.39%80.01%
Women activity rate 51.83%52.68%50.17%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
55,2/100
World Rank:
135
Regional Rank:
30

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Not Free
Political Freedom:
6/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
140/180

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Myanmar Times
Myanmar (Burma) News Sites and Newspapers
Myanmar News
Irrawaddy News
Mizzima News
Useful Resources
Ministry of Planning and Finance
Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations
Central Bank of Myanmar
 
 

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Latest Update: October 2022

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