Inflation higher than expected in first half of 2018-19

Inflation in the first six months of the current fiscal year of 2018-19 exceeded the government’s forecast by 2.7 percent, U Maung Maung Win, deputy minister of the Ministry of Planning and Finance, said at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw meeting held yesterday.

Inflation averaged 7.3 percent during the six month period ending in March compared to the government’s estimate of 4.6pc.Inflation was 4pc in 2017-18 and 6.8pc in 2016-17.

“Inflation was higher than expected due to the depreciation of the Myanmar kyat against the dollar,” he said in his report.

During the same period, Myanmar’s GDP stood at K67.2 trillion, just 63pc of the K106.1 trillion target. “There was a decrease in natural gas production and public construction projects were only at the starting phase,” U Maung Maung Win said.

While growth in the agriculture sector also declined for the period, Myanmar saw improvements in the industrial and service sectors.

Although foreign direct investments (FDI) rose by US$1.9 billion compared to the same period in 2017-2018, it is still less than the same period in 2016-2017. FDI totaling US$5.6 billion was channeled into the country in 2016-2017.

Exports for the period amounted to US$8.3 billion compared to imports of almost US$8.9 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of US$650 million

Exports consisted mainly of finished garments, natural gas, beans, ores, metals and rice while the main imports were oil and oil-related products, machinery, silk, construction materials, vehicles and spare parts.

During the six months, more than 2.1 million tourists entered the country and spent US$1.1 billion, said U Maung Maung Win.

Source: Myanmar Times

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