Myanmar’s growth to contract, poverty rate going up again: World Bank

Myanmar could expect its economy to contract by as much as 2.5 per cent in the country’s fiscal year 2019-20 (through September 30) and would be subject to further downside risks if the coronavirus crisis draws on for longer, the World Bank said.

This would translate into economic growth by just about 0.5 per cent in this fiscal year, a drastic drop from the 6.8 per cent achieved in 2018-19.

At the same time, the slowing growth is likely to reverse the country’s poverty alleviation efforts and drive the poverty rate of the country back up until at least 2022-23, the global development lender said in its latest Myanmar Economic Monitor.

“At the moment, the medium-term outlook for Myanmar’s economy is positive, but there are significant downside risks due to the unpredictable evolution of the pandemic,” said Mariam Sherman, World Bank country director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

The World Bank’s report noted that the effects of the crisis are not being evenly felt across sectors. Industrial production is expected to contract by 0.2 per cent in the current fiscal year as lockdown measures restrict access to labour, the closure of the overland border with China disrupts the supply of industrial inputs and consumer demand remains soft.

Traditional retail and services sectors negatively impacted, while e-commerce surges

Furthermore, precautionary behaviour and travel bans continue to negatively impact wholesale and retail trade, tourism-related services and transportation.

On the flipside, the information and communications technology sector is experiencing a surge of activity, driven by a sharp increase in telecommuting and e-commerce, the report said.

Should the domestic and global spread of the coronavirus be brought under control though, Myanmar’s GDP growth rate is projected to bounce back to 7.2 per cent in fiscal 2020-21.

To create a basis for recovery, it was crucial for the Myanmar government to boost economic relief efforts by ensuring flexibility in spending targets, extending support to smaller enterprises and ensuring all poor households can benefit from the plan, Sherman added.



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Myanmar could expect its economy to contract by as much as 2.5 per cent in the country’s fiscal year 2019-20 (through September 30) and would be subject to further downside risks if the coronavirus crisis draws on for longer, the World Bank said. This would translate into economic growth by just about 0.5 per cent in this fiscal year, a drastic drop from the 6.8 per cent achieved in 2018-19. At the same time, the slowing growth is likely to reverse the country’s poverty alleviation efforts and drive the poverty rate of the country back up until at least 2022-23,...

Myanmar could expect its economy to contract by as much as 2.5 per cent in the country’s fiscal year 2019-20 (through September 30) and would be subject to further downside risks if the coronavirus crisis draws on for longer, the World Bank said.

This would translate into economic growth by just about 0.5 per cent in this fiscal year, a drastic drop from the 6.8 per cent achieved in 2018-19.

At the same time, the slowing growth is likely to reverse the country’s poverty alleviation efforts and drive the poverty rate of the country back up until at least 2022-23, the global development lender said in its latest Myanmar Economic Monitor.

“At the moment, the medium-term outlook for Myanmar’s economy is positive, but there are significant downside risks due to the unpredictable evolution of the pandemic,” said Mariam Sherman, World Bank country director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

The World Bank’s report noted that the effects of the crisis are not being evenly felt across sectors. Industrial production is expected to contract by 0.2 per cent in the current fiscal year as lockdown measures restrict access to labour, the closure of the overland border with China disrupts the supply of industrial inputs and consumer demand remains soft.

Traditional retail and services sectors negatively impacted, while e-commerce surges

Furthermore, precautionary behaviour and travel bans continue to negatively impact wholesale and retail trade, tourism-related services and transportation.

On the flipside, the information and communications technology sector is experiencing a surge of activity, driven by a sharp increase in telecommuting and e-commerce, the report said.

Should the domestic and global spread of the coronavirus be brought under control though, Myanmar’s GDP growth rate is projected to bounce back to 7.2 per cent in fiscal 2020-21.

To create a basis for recovery, it was crucial for the Myanmar government to boost economic relief efforts by ensuring flexibility in spending targets, extending support to smaller enterprises and ensuring all poor households can benefit from the plan, Sherman added.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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