Myanmar’s growth declines to 7% in FY 2015-16

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Nay Pyi Taw, May 31 (IANS) Myanmar’s economic growth declined to seven per cent in the 2015-16 fiscal, according to the World Bank’s May 2016 edition of the Myanmar Economic Monitor, released on Tuesday.

According to the monitor, the country’s economic growth was 8.5 per cent in 2014-15.

The descending of growth was due to the agriculture supply shock from heavy flooding, a slowdown in new investment during the 2015 election year and lower commodity prices affecting Myanmar’s main exports, Xinhua reported.

The export declined by 12 percent in the first three quarters of 2015-16 compared with the same period the previous year and it contributed to a growing trade deficit.

Ongoing structural constraints, short-term exchange rate pressures, rising inflation peaking at 16 percent in October 2015, and the political transition have contributed to a deceleration in new investment flows.

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Abdoulaye Seck, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Myanmar, said the country’s growth prospects are positive if the government structural reforms and macro-economy are stable.

The country’s real GDP growth is projected to rise to 7.8 per cent in 2016-17 and average 8.2 per cent per year over the medium-term, as the economy recovers from the supply shock in 2015-2016. Moreover, the private investments begin to pick up again.

The agriculture sector is projected to bounce back over the short term while the investors’ demand for services and infrastructure construction are expected to be the main drivers of growth.

Mathew Verghis, World Bank’s manager for the East Asia and Pacific Macro-Fiscal Practice, said ongoing revenue administration policy reforms with more effective spending were expected to contribute to macroeconomic stability in Myanmar.

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